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5 Wise Things to Do in Cathedral Jakarta

by Hindarko Luh Setyawanto

Cathedral Jakarta is a place of worship of Catholics and also one of Jakarta’s icons. The Cathedral was built in the era of Dutch colonialism and still stands firmly up to now. Its unique shape invites the curiosity and admiration of everyone who sees it. Even the Jakarta government set the Cathedral as one of its leading tourist attractions. Let’s find out the wise things to do in Cathedral Jakarta Indonesia ..!

1. Sightseeing

The Cathedral Jakarta was designed by Father Antonius Dijkmans and its first stone laying was done by Provicaris Carolus Wenneker. This work was then continued by Cuypers-Hulswit when Father Antonius Dijkmans could not continue. On 21 April 1901 the Cathedral was inaugurated and blessed by Mgr. Edmundus Sybradus Luypen, SJ, Apostolic Vicar of Jakarta. The official name of the Cathedral Jakarta is St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral. Its building has a typical European architectural form, namely Neo-Gothic. The materials used to build are selected.

The Cathedral has a basic shape of a cross with a length of 60 meters and 10 meters wide. There are 3 towers, namely: Tower of Fortress Daud, Ivory Tower and Angelus Dei Tower. On the north side is the Tower of Fortress Daud which is 60 meters high and symbolizes Mary as protection against the powers of darkness. In the center is the Angelus Dei Tower which is 45 meters high. On the south side is the Ivory Tower which is 60 meters high and symbolizes the virginity of Mary. The ceiling is made curved and from shiny brown teak wood. Great and sacred impression can be felt the moment visitors set foot at the entrance.

2. Learning History

The Cathedral Jakarta has a museum documenting Catholic developments in Indonesia. The establishment of the museum was initiated by Father Rudolp Kurris. On April 28, 1991 the museum was inaugurated by Mgr Julius Darmaatmadja, SJ. Initially the museum was in the main building of the Cathedral. However, because the agenda of worship in the Cathedral is getting more and more, the museum was moved from the Cathedral and built in a separate building.

The Cathedral hopes the museum can preserve the historical journey of a development of faith for the benefit of mankind. Historical objects in the museum include the record of the founding of the Cathedral, some stuffs given by Pope Paul VI during a visit in 1970, some stuffs given by Pope John Paul II during a visit in 1989 and the statue of Our Lady. The museum is open on Monday-Thursday at 10 am – 4 pm, Saturday at 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday at 12 pm – 4 pm. Every Friday the museum is closed. Tour de museum is the right way to spend the weekend. But there are also other things to do in Jakarta on the Weekend.

3. Practicing Tolerance

The Indonesian nation is a plural nation consisting of various tribes and religions. Tolerance is needed so that all parties can live side by side peacefully. Therefore, tolerance becomes the backbone of national life. The Indonesian people has practiced tolerance in everyday life since long time ago. And the founders of the nation perpetuate the spirit of tolerance into the constitution.

The Cathedral Jakarta is adjacent to Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in Indonesia. Both religions are mutually respectful. During the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the Cathedral allows its yard to be used as a parking lot for Muslims who worship at the Istiqlal Mosque. To avoid congestion, the Cathedral also changes the schedule of worship to give Muslims the opportunity to perform the Eid prayers. Vice versa, the Istiqlal Mosque’s yard becomes the parking lot of at the celebration of the great Christian days. So it is not surprising if tolerance is one of the things to do in Cathedral Jakarta Indonesia.

4. Praying

The main function of the Cathedral Jakarta is none other than to worship. The Cathedral has a regular schedule for daily worship and Sunday worship. Thus the congregation can choose the time that suits their preoccupations. Strategic location makes the Cathedral easy to reach, not only for the residents of Jakarta but also for residents outside Jakarta. Indeed, the Cathedral becomes the center for Catholics in Indonesia.

Every congregation that goes into the cathedral will feel the aura of God’s majesty and glory. The beauty of the interior of the church combined with the sunlight that comes in through the window creates a feeling of peace that makes the congregation feel at home lingering. The atmosphere of the cathedral is more sacred with the paintings of the way of the cross and the three bells carved in Latin. At the main entrance there is a statue of Mary and on the top of the door there is the words “Beatam Me Dicent Omnes Generationes” which means “All descendants call me happy”

5. Culinary Tour

After exploring the Cathedral Jakarta all-out, it’s time to recover your energy. There is nothing better than resting while filling the stomach. Fortunately around the Cathedral there are various restaurants. You only need to drive less than 500 meters away, and will see a wide selection of food menu.There are Western food, Indonesian Food, Asian food and there are also cafes to hang out.

Miyama Japanese Restaurant is a restaurant worth a try after visiting the Cathedral. Philatelic Coffee and Starbucks is a recommended hangout. Bruschetta Italian Restaurant is famous for its pizzas. Aneka Selera Nusantara is perfect if you want typical Indonesian food. Rumah Makan Shantung serves delicious Chinese Food. If you do not want a heavy meal, you can try the menu at Bakso Atom Bakso Sehat, Bakmi Alip and Ragusa Ice Cream. Since the Cathedral is near Monas, you can also visit other attractions. There are many things to do near Monas.

Ok friends, those are the wise things to do in Cathedral Jakarta Indonesia. The good thing is it’s free entry. So it’s definitely a must visit place. Don’t wait till tomorrow. Let’s visit Cathedral Jakarta..!

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