Once upon a time, back when Indonesia was ruled by the Dutch, Jakarta was known by its colonial name Batavia. The Dutch established their seat of power at the Batavia City Square, now known as Fatahillah Square. If one wants a taste of Indonesia’s history, culture and cuisine all together in one place, one needs to look no further. Fatahillah Square in Old Town, a.k.a. Old Batavia, Jakarta is a one-stop, everything-rolled-into-one attraction that is sure to cater to one’s touristy wants and expectations.
Old colonial buildings, museums of different sorts, tasty Indonesian, Asian and Western food in a well-preserved historic site, local street entertainers, people of all ages, both local and foreign, bustling around – Fatahillah Square has them all.
Right in the heart of Fatahillah Square is an old building that used to be the Stadhuis or City Hall of Batavia. Today, this building is home to Jakarta History Museum – a museum that contains artifacts from the prehistoric times to the colonial times in the 16th century and up to Indonesia’s Independence in 1945.
For more photos of our visit to Jakarta History Museum, click here.
In one corner of Fatahillah Square, right across Jakarta History Museum, is a 200-year old building that now houses one of Jakarta’s most recommended restaurants – Cafe Batavia.
Cafe Batavia serves local favorites such as Nasi Goreng Batavia, Fatahillah Oxtail Soup, Nasi Campur, as well as some Western delights like pancakes, pasta, sandwiches, steaks and some Chinese classics like yang chow fried rice and different kinds of dimsum.
Cafe Batavia also provides an excellent view of Fatahillah Square.
To read more about our lunch at Cafe Batavia, click here.
Just steps away from Cafe Batavia, along one side of Fatahillah Square, is Museum Wayang a.k.a. Puppet Museum. This museum is dedicated to Javanese wayang puppetry.
Another Museum found at Fatahillah Square is the Museum Seni Rupa dan Keramik or the Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics. This museum is dedicated to Indonesia’s traditional fine art and ceramics.
Walking distance from Fatahillah Square are two more museums of note: Museum Bank Mandiri and Museum Bank Indonesia. Museum Bank Mandiri is an economics museum while Museum Bank Indonesia is a bank museum established by Bank Indonesia. Both museums are housed in heritage buildings.
If you have just one afternoon in Jakarta, spend it at Fatahillah Square. It will be worth your while. 🙂
Thanks for reading! 🙂
For a photo blog of our Jakarta History Museum visit, watch out for my next post! 🙂
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