Sunday, September 5, 2010


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Jakarta, the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia, is a special territory with the status of a province and Greater Jakarta covers an area of 592 squere km. Located on the northern coast of West Java, it is the centre of goverment, commerce, and industry, an as such has an extensive communications network with the rest of the country and the outside world.

As Indonesia' main gatewax, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport serves a growing number of international airlines and between Bali and Jakarta there is 16 flights daily.

Jakarta is a city of contrasts; the traditional and the modern, the rich and the poor, the sacral and the worldly, often stand slide by side in this teeming metropolis. Even its population, gathered from all those diverse ethnic and cultural groups that make Indonesia, are constantly juxtaposed as an ever-present reminder of the national motto : Unity in Diversity.

Finding its origin in the small early 16th century harbour town of Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta's founding is regarded to have taken place on June 21, 1527, when it was renamed Jayakarta-meaning Glorious Victory by the conquering Prince Fatahillah from neighbouring Cirebon. The Dutch East India Company, which took the town and destroyed it in 1619, changed its name into Batavia and made it the centre for the expansion of their power in the East Indies. Shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Batavia fell to invading Imperial Japnese forces who change the name of the city into Jakarta in a gesture aimed at winning the sympathy of the Indonesians. The name was retained after Indonesia achieved national independence after the war's end.

Jakarta's architecture reflects to a large extent the influx of outside in fluences which came and found a home in the vital seaport city. The Taman Fatahillah Restoration Project begun in the early 1970' has restored one of the oldest sections of Jakarta-also known as Old Batavia-to approxi-been rehabilitated into living museums. The Old Supreme Court building is now a museum of fine art, which also houses part of the excellent Chinese porcelain collection of Vice President Adam Malik. The old Town Hall has become the Jakarta Museum and displays such items as Indonesia's old historical documents and Dutch period furniture. Its tower clock was returned to England to now repaired under its lifetime guarantee-a life-time which up to now has already well exceeded a hundred years.

One of the most interesting tourist attractions is the "Beautiful Indonesia Miniature" cultural park popularly called "Taman Mini". Built to portray the variety of culture found in the many islands contained in the Republic of Indonesia, this open-air museum comprises of the many architectural forms, art, and traditions of all province. It is proof of the country's motto of Unity in Diversity as well as freedom of religion depicted in the houses of worship built on the grounds.

Jakarta has preserved its past and is developing for the future. Skyscrapers in the centre of the city are part of the new look. Modern luxury hotels today cater to the discriminating visitor and transport within the city is plentiful.

It should be noted that museums are open daily from 8.00 a.m (except Monday) till 2.00 p.m on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunduy. On Friday closing hour is 11.00 a.m and on Saturday at 1.00 p.m.

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