Visiting Indische Area in Yogyakarta by Trans Jogja
Updated on 13 November 2018
Duration: 1 day
Category: travel architecture, history, education
Visited Places: Loji Kebon (Great House), Vredeburg, 'Nol Kilometer' area (Central Post Office, BNI Building, and Bank Indonesia Building), Societet Militaire, Kotabaru Regions (Church of Saint Antonius, College Building Saint Ignatius)
Estimated cost: IDR 14,000 / person (transport + admission fee)
The period of Dutch occupation in Indonesia leaving a trace of history, one of them is physical building with very specific characteristics. In the big cities like Jakarta, Surabaya, and Semarang, the area that was once became the center of Dutch's government and residence were called 'Kota Tua' or 'Kota Lama' (Old City). Although there is no area in Yogyakarta that was called Old City, historical buildings with Indies architecture can be found elsewhere. The buildings is not centralized, it is spreading in various places from 'Nol Kilometer' (Zero Kilometer) Point area, Sudirman Street, Mangkubumi Street, to Kotabaru. With Trans Jogja, you can visit all of those areas and then you can feel the atmosphere of the past Indies.
In the morning, started from Tugu Station, Adi Sucipto Airport, or Malioboro Street the "Tour Indies" could begin. For the tourist who had got off from the train, you can walk about 5-10 minutes to Malioboro. From Halte Ahmad Yani, take Trans Jogja bus with 1A, 2A, or 3A and then stop at Halte Ahmad Yani. Firstly, we go to the rows of Loji (big building with a courtyard) at 'Nol Kilometer' point area. The first lodge is 'Loji Kebon' which is now called as Gedung Agung and the function is for the Presidential Palace in Yogyakarta. Although we are unable to enter the building which was built by the Dutch architect, A. Payen, we can watch it from outside fence.
From Loji Kebon, we go to the oldest lodge in Yogyakarta,Vredeburg (adult: IDR 2,000, child: IDR 1,000; +62274 586 934). A fort with bastions in four corners had a collection of dioramas of Indonesian's struggle for independence. In June to July, Vredeburg usually used as the location Yogyakarta Arts Festival. In addition, there is museum around the castle. In this place we can also stop by in the Cafe Indische Koffie (9 am-11pm), which offers variety of Indonesian traditional menu and Western menu with elegant classical atmosphere. Enjoying food in Indische Koffie will make us feel like a Madam and Meneer.
The journey continues to the intersection of 'Nol Kilometer'. In these place, there are General Post Office building, BNI building, and Bank Indonesia Building (BI) which are still retain its original Indies architecture with minimal changes. After that, we go to the east to see Taman Pintar (an educational park) and Societet Militaire, a theatre building. To continue the destination, take 1B from Halte KHA Dahlan 2 (South of Taman Pintar). The bus will take us to Kotabaru, the center of Dutch settlement in the past. During the journey with 1B, we can see a row of Indies buildings along Jendral Sudirman Street such as Phoenix Hotel which is very close to Code River and the building which is now used as Pizza Hut Restaurant.
Indies building also can be found around Cik Di Tiro Street, as for example, Dr. Yap Hospital specialist for eye and SMPN 1 (Junior High School 1) Yogyakarta. We can stop in the Halte Cik di Tiro 2 and crossed the street to Halte Cik di Tiro 1 to continue the trip with 3A to Kotabaru area. When we walk in the Suroto Street, we are immediately greeted by a shady tree-filled boulevard. Formerly, Kotabaru area is designed as a garden city that equipped with flowering plants, shade trees, park benches and the wide roads. The existence of Indies buildings in Kotabaru are still well maintained and used until now.
Another Indies building that we can find in Kotabaru area are SMAN 3 (High School 3 Yogyakarta) which was previously used as AMS (Algemene Middelbare School), SMP 5 (Junior High School 5 Yogyakarta) that was used as Normal School, and BOPKRI 1 High School which was formerly used as Chiristeijke MULO building and Millitary Academy. The other unique buildings are Jiwasraya and Bimo Building that was built with art-deco concept. Bimo Building is used as meeting building now. Next, Trans Jogja bus will takes us through FM Noto Street that also had a boulevard. In the corner of FM Noto Street, we can see the relics of the Dutch electricity substation which is quite unique and rarely found in other regions.
If you want to enjoy the "Tempoe Doeloe" or past atmosphere in Kotabaru, please stop at Halte Portabel Kotabaru. From the bus station, we can continue the "Indies Tour" by walking down the shaded roads. There are several places that can be visited, such as Saint Antonius Church and Kolese Saint Ignatius which formerly used as Ministry of Defence Office. Still we can see Indies styled houses around Kotabaru which now used as shops, cafes, boutiques, or office buildings. After satisfied by "Tempoe Doeloe" atmosphere in Kotabaru, we can stop at to Terrace Javana Resto (open 11 am to 11 pm; food prices IDR 5,000 - IDR 35,000; Abubakar Ali Street 24-26; +62 274 541290) for a while. Terrace Javana Resto, a restaurant with Western menu is located in the formerly Dutch house which was completed with large ancient oil tank in the garden. Another place to hang-out with cheaper price is the House of Raminten (open 24 hours; the price of food IDR 1,000 - IDR 20,000; Jl FM Noto 7, Kotabaru; +62 274 547315).
After eating, the trip continues to Malioboro with 3A from Halte Portabel Kotabaru. After the bus reach Halte Sudirman 2 (in front of Santika Hotel), please transit to 1A. The bus will take us through Mangkubumi Street which also had an old building such as Tip Top Ice Cream Shop that had existed since Dutch occupation era and still survives until this day. The bus will also take us to the side past Kewek Bridge Malioboro. The word 'Kewek' is derived from the word 'Kerkweg'. "Indies Tour" will end at Malioboro, the heart of Yogyakarta that has a lot of memories, histories, and stories which was blended into a famous street, Malioboro Street.