Explore these 5 museums the next time you’re in Jakarta
JAKARTA, Indonesia’s bustling capital, is a massive city that sits on the northwest coast of the island of Java.
The metropolis has a long and diverse cultural history, with Javanese, Malay, Chinese, Arab, Indian influences, as well as from Portuguese and Dutch colonialism.
From language to cuisine and even architecture, Indonesia’s cultural components give travelers an abundance of things to learn and explore.
But the best way to discover things you never knew about a nation, be it history or culture, is to visit a museum.
And in Jakarta, there are plenty. In fact, Jakarta contains the most museums in Indonesia with over 50 museums within its 661 square kilometers area.
Take a walk to and around these five historical and contemporary museums for an enriching experience:
In 1778, the Batavia Society for Arts and Science established what would become, after many expansions and name changes, Jakarta’s National Museum.
Popularly known as Gedung Gajah (which means the Elephant Building), it’s an archeological, historical, ethnological, and geographical museum with broad collections that cover all of Indonesia’s territory and almost all of its history.
It’s regarded as one of the most complete and the best in Indonesia, with over 141,000 objects, as well as one of the finest museums in Southeast Asia.
Address: Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat 12 | Central Jakarta, Jakarta 10110, Indonesia.
Art:1 New Museum
Art:1 is a commercial gallery and exhibition space specializing in contemporary Indonesian painting and sculpture.
It was built to facilitate art in Indonesia with the concept of “one-stop art destination”, and claims to provide visitors an unforgettable art-immersion experience.
Art:1 has two main buildings, Art:1 New Museum – three floors for permanent collections by prominent and modern Indonesian masters and Artspace:1 – three floors for contemporary artworks by emerging Indonesian and international artists.
Address: Jakarta Pusat Jln. Rajawali Selatan Raya 3, Jakarta 10720, Indonesia.
Where to go to really understand wayang, a traditional shadow puppet art in Southeast Asia? The Wayang museum, of course.
Established in 1968, the museum collects various types of shadow puppets, including Malaysia, Thailand, Suriname, China, Vietnam, France, India, and Cambodia. But specific to Indonesia are two prominent types of wayang – wayang kulit (calfskin shadow puppet) and wayang golek (wooden puppet).
Visitors are also invited to get to know various characters, attitudes, and behaviors from various regions through the wayang performances.
Address: Jl. Pintu Besar Utara No.27, Pinangsia, West Jakarta.
The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara, otherwise more simply known as Macan Museum, is an art museum in Jakarta.
Dedicated to international modern art, Macan Museum provides locals and travelers public access to an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art and celebrates the dynamic movement of contemporary art in Indonesia.
Recently, it was announced that Macan Museum would be hosting Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition, the first large-scale exhibition of her work in Indonesia.
Address: Jl. Panjang no. 5 | Wisma AKR, Jakarta 11530, Indonesia.
Taman Prasasti Museum
Definitely not for the weakhearted, the Taman Prasasti Museum (which means Museum of Memorial Stone Park or Inscription Museum) is a solemn place, to say the lest.
Built by the Dutch colonial government in 1795 as a final resting place for noble Dutchmen, the cemetery is the oldest of its kind in Jakarta and may have been the oldest modern cemetery in the world.
The museum’s collection includes headstones, miniatures of gravestones from various provinces of Indonesia, and the original coffins for Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta, the first president and vice president of Indonesia.
Address: Jl. Tanah Abang I no. 1 | Kelurahan Petojo Selatan, Jakarta 10160, Indonesia.
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Source: Travels travelwireasia.com