, capital of Indonesia, is the largest city of the country. It is located on the north-western coast of the island of Java on Jakarta Bay, at the mouth of the Ciliwung River. Jakarta is also the centre of activities for the whole of Indonesia. Half the total population are Javanese with the balance being made up largely of Sundanese in West Java, Javanese in Central and East Java, Madurese in East Java and Madura, Balinese, the Coastal Malays, Buginese, Makassarese, and Bataks. Being a big city, Jakarta's population is a composite of many racial strains, including Arab, Indian, Papuan, Dutch and Chinese. But the majorities are of Malay origin.
Points of Attraction
The city has changed immeasurably since the days of the Portuguese arrival. Wide highways have replaced dusty bullock tracks. Skyscrapers have grown where thatched huts once stood. But beautiful examples of the old colonial architecture have been preserved, and in quiet residential neighborhoods you can still see neat Dutch bungalows with their red-tiled roofs.
The old town ofBatavia is the oldest and finest reminder of the Dutch presence inJakarta. At one time, it contained a massive shoreline fortress and was surrounded by a sturdy wall and a moat. In the early 19th century much of the unhealthy city was destroyed by the government in a bid to freshen things up a bit, but there are still plenty of Dutch influences in this part of town.
The National MonumentThe National Monument
, or "Monas
" as it is popularly called, is one of the monuments built during the Sukarno era of fierce nationalism. It stands for the people's determination to achieve freedom and the crowning of their efforts in the Proclamation of Independence in August 1945. The 137-meter tall marble obelisk is topped with a flame coated with 35 kg. of gold. The base houses a historical museum and a hall for meditations. The monument is open to the public and upon request the lift can carry visitors to the top which offers a bird's eye view on the city and the sea.
This is Jakarta's largest and most popular recreation park. It is built on reclaimed beach land at the Bay of Jakarta, having, sea and freshwater aquariums, swimming pools, an artificial lagoon for fishing, boating, bowling, an assortment of nightclubs, restaurants, a steam-bath and massage parlors.
Daily shows are held at the Aquarium where dolphins and sea lions perform. The Ancol complex includes a Marina, Dunia Fantasi (Fantasy Land), a golf course, hotels and a drive-in theater. The "Pasar Seni" or art market has a varied collection of Indonesian handicraft, paintings and souvenirs on sale.At a nearby open-air theater art performances are held using the local dialect.
Jakarta's monuments can best be described as 'inspired tastelessness' - among Soekarno's great legacies are his heroes-of-socialism structures, and the most impressive of these is the 132m (433ft) National Monument (Monas). Construction of the marble and gold project commenced in 1961 and took 14 years to complete. The phallic symbol topped by a glittering flame symbolises the nation's strength and independence, and towers above the otherwise-desolateMerdeka Square, literally the dead heart ofJakarta. In the base of the monument is the National History Museum with 48 dramatic dioramas presenting a selective, sometimes-overstated view of Indonesian history? A lift will take you to the top of the monument for dramatic - though rarely clear - views of Jakarta.
Just a 10-minute walk north from Taman Fatahillah in Old Batavia, the oldport of Sunda Kelapa has more sailing ships - the magnificent Makassar schooners - than you ever thought existed. These brightly painted ships are an important means of transport and freight delivery between the capital and the outer islands. They also provide one of the most spectacular sights in Jakarta.
Indonesia in Miniature Park (TMII)
This 300-hectare area is an extensive park representing Indonesia's provinces and their traditional characteristics. TMII offers a glimpse of beautiful Indonesia in just a single location. It also has a famous orchid garden, a bird park with a walk-in aviary, a fauna museum and recreational grounds with a swimming pool and restaurants.
Jakarta History Museum
This museum, housed in the oldBatavia Town Hall, is probably the most solid reminder of Dutch rule anywhere in Indonesia. The large, bell-towered hall was built in 1627 and served the administration of the city, the law courts, and even housed Batavia's main prison compound.
On April 24, 1778, a group of Dutch intellectuals established a scientific institution under the name Bataviaasch Genotschap van Kunsten en Wetenschappen, (Batavia Society for Arts and Science). This private body had the aim of promoting research in the field of arts and sciences, especially in history, archaeology, ethnography and physics, and publishes the various findings.
One of the founders - JCM Radermacher - donated a building and a collection of cultural objects and books, which were of great value to start off a museum and library for the society. Due to the growing collections, General Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles built a new premise on Jalan Majapahit No. 3 at the beginning of the 19th century and named it the Literary Society. In the 1862 the Dutch East Indian government decided to build a new museum that would not only serve as an office but also could be used to house, preserve and display the collections.
In 1994, the museum started with is expansion project. The new building, constructed in the same architectural style as the old, comprises an arena for theatrical performances and more spaces for exhibitions. The building is scheduled for completion this year.
Maritime Museum (Museum Bahari)
The Maritime Museum exhibits large models of boats from various islands. The old harbormaster's tower stands nearby.
The Wayang Museum
The finest displays of the exclusively Indonesian puppets known as wayang are shown in this museum. This museum also exhibits puppets from all parts of Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia as well. The wooden and leather puppets (known as wayang kulit) displayed here represent the finest craftsmanship in this particular form of traditional theater. The museum also shows performances of shortened versions of the wayang kulit every Sunday morning.
The actual founding of city founding dates back to the June 22, 1527 when it was named Jayakarta by Fatahillah of the neighbouring Sultanate of Banten. The name Jayakarta means City of Great Victory but under Dutch control the name was changed to Batavia. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II,Batavia fell into the hands of invading Japanese forces who also changed the name of the city. This time it was called Jakarta as a gesture aimed at winning the sympathy of the Indonesians. The name was retained even when Indonesia achieved national independence after the wars end. Now, asJakarta, it is the centre of government, business and industry and spreads over an area of
more than 650 esq. with a population of over nine million people. It is also designated as a special territory, (DKI) which means that it is administered by a governor and en joys the same status as a province.
In recent years, Jakarta has expanded its facilities for visitors with multi-star luxury hotels, fine restaurants, exciting nightlife and modern shopping centers as well as tourist attractions like Taman Mini Indonesia Indah (Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park),marine resorts in the Bay of Jakarta, an extensive beach recreation complex and restored colonial period buildings.
Taken from: http://www.indonesia-tourism.com/jakarta/history.html