November 3, 2011

The "Stadhuis"

The stately building of the Jakarta History Museum was formerly the Stadhuis or City Hall of Batavia. The building was inaugurated in 1710 by Governor General Abraham van Riebeeck (1653 - 1713 ), the son of Jan van Riebeeck , who founded Capetown, the oldest city in South Africa. The square in front of the building has always been the main square of the old city.

Former City Halls of Batavia
The present building is the third City Hall of Batavia. The first City Hall had been built in haste in 1620 on the present Kali Besar Timur just south of the old drawbridge. It lasted only six years and was replaced by the second City Hall (1627 - 1707 ) built on the south side of the town's main square, the same location as the present building. The second City Hall initially had a flat roof , and possibly only one storey, but over the years the building was renovated several time and extended. In the end, however, the old building was no longer considered adequate for such a great and wealthy city as Batavia, and was replaced by the third City Hall.

Construction of the building
The structure of the building is sober but well proportioned in a kind of baroque classicism. The plan was drawn by the head of the VOC's artisan, W. J van de Velde and executed over a period of three years (1707 - 1710) by J.F Kemmer, a German building contractor. It is said that the building resembles the old City Hall of Amsterdam, now the royal Paleis op de Dam. This Palace had been built a century earlier by J. van Campen
History of the building

1707-1710 Building Constracted
1710-1816 City Hall Batavia
1816-1905 Office Residency Batavia
1905-1925 City Hall of Batavia
1925-1942 Office the West- Java Provincial Governor
1942-1945 Japanese Logistic Office
1945-1952 Office of The West-Java Provincial Governor
1952-1968 Headquarter of The Kota Military Command I, later KODIM 0503 West-Java Transferred to the Jakarta City administration
1968-March 30, 1974 Official opening of the Museum Sejarah Jakarta by Governor Ali Sadikin model for the City Hall of Postdam, near Berlin, designed by Boumann (1755)
Use of the building 17th and 18 century

The most important offices in the City Hall were the Board of Magistrates (College van Scheepenen) and the Court of Justice (Raad van Scheepenen) and the Court of Justica (Raad van Justitie). But the City Hall housed many more committee including the committee for the welfare of orphans, for the registration of marriages and so on. Between the years 1622 and 1634 until completion of the Dutch church on the west side of the town square, one of the rooms was used on Prayer meetings. The second City Hall also served as the initial burial place for Jan Pieterszoon Coen (1587 - 1629) until his remains were transferred to the Church, at the side where now the Museum Wayang stands.
Because of all the meetings ad discussion taking place in the building it was nick-named Gedung Bicara, 'House of Talk', or in the Hokien dialect Gedung Bi-cha-lo

The Jakarta History Museum
The Jakarta History Museum originated from the Museum Oud Batavia (Old Batavia) at Jalan Pintu Besar Utara No.27 (Now the Museum Wayang) that was officially opened in 1939. After Indonesia's independence in 1945 this became the Museum Djakarta Lama under the authority of the Lemb aga Kebudayaan Indonesia (Cultural Institute of Indonesia) in 1968 the museum was transferred to the city administration of Jakarta in 1974 the collection was moved to the "Stadhuis" building which subsequently was inaugurated as the Museum Sejarah Jakarta, Jakarta History Museum.
Source adapted from A Heuken 2007 Historical Sites of Jakarta

Monument of Pieter Erberveld

This monument was erected in 1722 along Jl. Pangeran Jayakarta to remember Pieter Erberveid. It was demolished during the Japanese occupation and the inscription was moved to the museum. In 1970 a replica of the monument was installed on the original site at Jl. Pangeran Jayakarta, but in 1986 it had to be removed to make place for a car showroom. It is now in Museum Taman Prasasti. The showroom surely cannont be succesful view of the curse expressed by the inspiration !

The "terrorist" Pieter Erberveld
Pieter Erberveld was the son of a wealthy German and his Siamese wife. He belonged to the large group known as Indos, as the Eurasians were called. He had close connections with the local population around Batavia and may have been in contact with the sons of Untung Suropati, who were still fighting against the VOC in East Java. After the death of his father, Pieter had the right to inherit his possesions, including lands along Jl. Pangeran Jayakarta. Governor General Zwaardecroon, however, also wanted to acquire the same land, and the ruthless Governor General may have been personally interested in disposing of Erberveld. The official version reads that Erberveld was conspiring against the Dutch together with the Javanese nobleman Raden Kartadria Erberveld hoped to become Tuan Gusti, or the "Big Lord", the head of the city and Kartadria the prince of the surrounding countryside. But their plans were betrayed to the Governor General in 1721 suspicion against Erberveld was heightened by two unexplaned events : the burning down of the shipyard, and fireworks thrown into the ammunition storage. Erberveld and his followers were arrested and tried by a court not open to the public. They were death on 22 April 1722 (which, strangely, is 8 days after the date mentioned in the inscription!)

It seems very likely that the accusations against Erberveld were fals and were motivated by the greed of high-ranking officials. Similar events may still take place today !

The 18th Century Drinking Water Pipeline

This video show how the current condition of the water in the Old Batavia and surrounding. And below of the video I give the the information that I got it from the Fatahillah Museum about the Drinking Water Pipeline in the 18th Century

The water place at the end of Molenvliet canal

In the 17th and 18th century drinking water for the city of Batavia was taken from the Molenvliet, which is the canal running along the present Jl. Gajah Mada. This canal received its water in turn from the Krukut River and from the Ciliwung River near Gambir through the canal along Jl. Veteran

The water was collected in tank of the end of the Molenvliet, in what is now Glodok. The name of Jl. Pancoran still refers to the water spouts from the tank. The townspeople, as well as crew from the many VOC ships, came here to fill their water buckets or barrels, either by walking or by travelling in small prahus through of the canals of the town. Later, with increasing population and the canals becoming more dirty and shallow, this was considered too inconvenient and in 1743 it was decided to install a piped water supply system.

Piped Water Supply
A separated sedimentation tank was installed at Glodok and from there a pipeline ran through the town to a fountain in the middle of the town hall square (Fatahillah Square) and continued via second fountain to the Castle. From there fountains pipes may have extended to other parts of the town but there is little information on these. The basin of the fountain is lower than the town square itself in order to facilitate tapping the water. Even with this system, however, many people (or their servants) found walking to the fountain too far and continued to use dirty canal water, with dire consequences for the health of the citizens. An 18th century plan shows the pipeline extending beyond the castle to the harbour canal but whether this plan was ever implemented is not known.

Decline of the system
Originally ceramic pipes were used but these proved vulnerable to leakage, and some parts were later replaced by wooden pipes. These, however, gave the water a poor odour and taste. Re-installing ceramic pipes was discussed but was never implemented. Gradually the system deteriorated. Many wealthier people also moved out of the old town to the countryside and to the new center near Weltevrede (Lapangan Banteng). so the pipe system was abandoned in the early 19th century and the fountain in the town hall square dismantled.

Restoration in the 1970s
Under the governorship of Ali Sadikin in the 1970s it was decided to return the town hall square as much as possible to its former 18th century glory. Archaeological investigations revealed the old brick foundations of the 18th century fountain and, on the basis of drawings by J. Rach, a replica was constructed at the same place. An intact ceramic element of the pipeline was also found and is now on display in the Ceramic Room of the museum.