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14 Top Things to Do Near Monas (National Monument of Indonesia)

by Hindarko Luh Setyawanto

Monas, abbreviation of National Monument, is a monument built to commemorate the struggle of the Indonesian nation during the colonial period so that it can continue to evoke the spirit of patriotism of the future generation. Monas was built on August 17, 1961 by President Sukarno. The building has a height of 132 meters with the shape resembles the modification of Linga and Yoni artifacts. Linga is a symbol of manhood, and Yoni is a symbol of women or fertility. The monument was officially inaugurated on 12 July 1975 by President Soeharto. Around the monument there are parks, two pools and several sports venues.

On holidays the place is always filled with visitors who exercise or just enjoy the scenery. The opening hour of Monas is on Sundays to Fridays at 8 am – 3 pm. Thus, the entry ticket is Rp. 8.000 – 15. 000 IDR.

Monas is located right in the middle of Medan Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta. Because it’s located in the state capital, Monas is easily accessed. There are many ways that can be used to travel to Jakarta, ranging from using planes, ships, buses, until private vehicles. Besides Monas, there are many interesting places in Central Jakarta, near Monas, that can be visited. Jakarta is not just full of historical building, it has also a collection of culinary from all over Indonesia. So guys, let’s find out the top things to do near Monas (National Monument of Indonesia) Jakarta Indonesia.

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1. Visiting Istiqlal Mosque
The first of the top things to do near Monas is visiting Istiqlal Mosque. It is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia. Istiqlal is taken from Arabic which means independent. The mosque was built to honor the Muslim warriors who died in the fight for independence as well as describing the gratitude to God for the grace of the nation’s independence. The construction of the mosque began on August 24,1961 by President Soekarno. On February 22, 1978 President Soeharto inaugurated its use.

Istiqlal Mosque is able to accommodate up to 200,000 people. It has a main dome with a diameter of 45 meters which symbolizes the year 1945, the year of the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Indonesia. The mosque consists of five floors and one ground floor. The tower is only one, symbolizing the oneness of God. The tower is marble with a height of 96.66 meters. There are seven entrance doors to the Istiqlal Mosque. Each door was named after Asmaul Husna. The mosque also has the largest beduk in Indonesia. The length is 3 meters, weighing 2.3 tons, made of red shiner (shorea wood) from a tree of 300 years old. The Istiqlal Mosque is located at Taman Wijaya Kusuma Street, Central Jakarta. It’s free entry. Opening hour is according to worship schedule.

2. Visiting Cathedral Church
The next thing to do is visiting Cathedral Church. It began its construction in mid-1891 and completed on April 21, 1901. Then the church was inaugurated and blessed by Mgr. Edmundus Sybradus Luypen, SJ, an Apostolic Vicar of Jakarta. The official name of the church is De Kerk van Onze Lieve Vrouwe ten Hemelopneming, The Church of Our Lady at Assumption. Because there is cathedra in the church, which is the Bishop’s Throne, the community calls it the Cathedral Church.

In general, the Cathedral Church building is characterized by European style Neo Gothic. The church has towering doors and windows decorated with paintings explaining the events of the cross experienced by Jesus Christ. On the right and left of the church there are chambers used as a place for confession of sin, And on the front there is a sacred altar. The Cathedral Church is one of Indonesia’s cultural heritages. Inside the church there are libraries and museums that explain the history of the spread of Catholicism in Jakarta. The location of the church is opposite the Istiqlal Mosque, which signifies that Indonesia lives with a high sense of tolerance. The Cathedral Church is situated at Katedral Street, Central Jakarta. It’s free entry. Opening hour is according to worship schedule.

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3. Visiting Immanuel Church
Immanuel Church began its construction on August 24, 1835 and completed on August 24, 1839. It was built in honor of King Willem I, the king of the Netherlands in the period 1813-1840. The church has the style of classicism. The Immanuel Church has the shape of circle centered just below the dome. In the main room, which is 9.5 meters in diameter and covered with marble, there is a row of circular benches and a pulpit.

The design is in circle so that the congregation can focus on the pulpit while listening to the word of God. The main door is on 3 sides with a frame made of teak wood. The towering row of columns on the outside gives the impression of majestic and tall. The church is now used by the Western Protestant Church and able to accommodate about 600 congregations. The Immanuel Church is located at Merdeka Timur Street, Central Jakarta. It’s free entry. Opening hour is according to worship schedule.

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4. Visiting Ismail Marzuki Park
Ismail Marzuki Park was inaugurated by the Governor of Jakarta, Ali Sadikin, on November 10, 1968. The park is a forum for contemporary artists to express themselves and develop art. It opened the door as wide as possible for creativity towards quality art.

Arts and cultural events are regularly performed at this place, such as staging drama, dance, wayang, music, poetry reading, painting exhibitions and movie shows. Famous Indonesian artists who performed in TIM include Rendra the poet, the director Arifin C. Noer, painter Affandi and choreographer Bagong Kusudiarjo.

Ismail Marzuki Park has a planetarium which was inaugurated in 1969. The planetarium exhibits its collection such as astronaut suits, meteorite samples, and telescopes that can be used by visitors to observe rainbow, lunar eclipse, solar eclipse and comet. In addition, there are also cinemas, bookstores, libraries, and cafeteria. Ismail Marzuki Park is located at Cikini Raya Street, Central Jakarta. The price of entrance to the art gallery, the theater, the open stage, the planetarium and the cinema vary depending on the type of show displayed. Whereas entry to the library is free. Ismail Marzuki Park is open at 8 am.

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5. Visiting Surapati Park
Surapati Park was built in 1920 by the Dutch government. Previously the park was named Burgemeester Bisschopplein. Surapati Park has an area of 16,328 square meters and is situated adjacent to the official residence of the Governor of Jakarta. The park becomes a place of sports, recreation, and art stage of the citizens of Jakarta. On weekends there are often musical performances and street performers show.

Surapati Park has six statues of artists from ASEAN. Namely Peace by Indonesian; Peace, Harmony, and One by Malaysian; Spirit of ASEAN by Singaporean; Fraternity by Thai; Harmony by Bruneian; and Rebirth by Filipino. The park also has many pigeons fly freely. Feeding the pigeons can be an entertaining activity. Surapati Park is located at Taman Suropati Street, Central Jakarta. It’s free entry, open 24 hours and equipped with free wifi.

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6. Visiting Proklamator Park
Proklamator Park is built on 4 hectares of land and divided into three parts. The first part is the Memorial Monument of the one year of Indonesia independence. The monument was inaugurated by Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir on August 17, 1946. The second part is the Proclamation Monument which became the point where President Sukarno read the text of the proclamation. On January 1, 1961 President Soekarno laid the first stone for the construction of the monument. The inauguration was done on August 17, 1972 by the Information Minister, Budiardjo.

The third part is the Proklamator Monument which is built to commemorate the contribution of Soekarno and Hatta as the Proclaimer of the Republic of Indonesia. The Proklamator Monument was inaugurated on 17 August 1980 by President Soeharto. Every year Proklamator Park becomes the place of anniversary of Independence Day. The park also becomes the place where demonstrators voice their opinions. In addition locals often visit the park to play, exercise, or just sit around enjoying the evening. Proklamator Park is located at Proklamasi Street, Central Jakarta. It’s free entry. Opening hour is 6 am – 9 pm.

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7. Shopping at Grand Indonesia Mall
Grand Indonesia Mall is a huge shopping mall. It’s divided into east wing and west wing, connected by a multi-level bridge. Both sides are pretty vast and visitors could easily get lost. There is a lot of shops that sell worldwide brands. The shops vary, ranging from fashion, bookstore, supermarket, pharmacy, bakery and many more. It seems everybody can find what he / she is looking for here.

For culinary enthusiasts, Grand Indonesia Mall is the perfect place for tasting a variety of food. The amount of restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and food court are myriad. Some even have a smoking room. Meetings are often held in these places. The mall also has cinema, salon, barbershop, ATM, and room for prayer. Grand Indonesia Mall is located at M.H. Thamrin Street, Central Jakarta. Opening hour is 10 am – 10 pm.

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8. Dining at Pecenongan
Pecenongan is the name of a road that stretches no more than 600 meters. Pecenongan Street is no different from other roads in the daytime. But from dusk till night, the road is turned into a culinary area. Because of its strategic location and easily accessible, Pecenongan is always filled with visitors from both locals and foreign tourists. It has been famous as a culinary center since 1970s.

Most of the menu offered by sellers are seafood, Chinese food, nasi Padang and nasi uduk . In addition there are also cupcake and martabak. Food prices here are quite expensive, not much different with restaurants or cafes, but worth the delicious taste. Pecenongan Street is situated in Central Jakarta.

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9. Visiting the National Gallery of Indonesia
The National Gallery of Indonesia is an art Museum institution and center for modern and contemporary art which aims at protecting, developing, making a proper use of artworks as a cultural-education facility and recreation, as well as a media for the development of creativity and art appreciation. The gallery was inaugurated on May 8, 1999 and is currently under the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Various types of artworks are exhibited in the National Gallery of Indonesia, ranging from painting, sculpture, photography to installation art. The exhibition is divided into 3 types, namely permanent exhibitions, temporary exhibitions, and on tour. To be permitted to look around and enjoy the beauty of artwork visitors are prohibited to bring in food, drinks, bags and cameras. Only camera from hand-phone is allowed.

Therefore the gallery provides lockers for free. The National Gallery of Indonesia is located at Medan Merdeka Timur Street, Central Jakarta. It’s free entry. Opening hour for permanent exhibition is 9 am – 4 pm and it’s close on Monday and National Holiday. Whereas opening hour for temporary exhibition is 10 am – 7 pm and it’s close only on National Holiday.

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10. Visiting the Museum and Gallery of Photo Journalism
The Museum and Gallery of Photo Journalism was inaugurated in December 13, 1992. It’s the first photography gallery in Indonesia and aims to raise awareness of photography as a medium for conveying ideas and emotions. The gallery displays the works of local and international photographers.

In addition it offers various kinds of workshops that enable people to share their knowledge and experiences. Existing workshops include training for basic photography and journalistic photography, as well as non-regular training for studio lighting basic, advanced darkroom processing and traveling photography.

The second floor of the building is used as a Press Museum. There is a panel of comics that tells the history of the nation’s journey from the national movement, the Japanese occupation, the proclamation of independence, the era of President Soekarno until the era of President Soehartor. There are also antic typewriters, morse equipment, ancient desks and cabinets, as well as ancient motors. The Museum and Gallery of Photo Journalism is located at Antara Street, Central Jakarta. It’s free entry. Opening hour is 9 am – 9 pm. It’s close on Monday and National Holiday.

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11. Visiting the National Museum
The National Museum is also called the Ganesh Museum because there is an elephant statue in front of the museum which is a gift from Thai King, Chulalongkorn (1871). Until now, the museum has 141,899 objects consisting of 7 types of collections, namely prehistory, archeology, ceramics, numismtik-heraldik, history, ethnography and geography. Various prehistoric objects are exhibited from the Stone Age such as: artifacts, fossils, menhirs, ancient statues, inscriptions, crafts and ancient weapons. There is also a collection of Chinese ceramics from Han, Tang and Ming dynasties, Southeast Asian ceramics, as well as objects of Javanese Hindu culture.

The National Museum has a collection of statues from various times. The most famous statue is Bhairawa with 414 cm tall and is estimated to date from the 13th and 14th centuries. There is also the Room of Miniature Traditional House. In this room we can see a variety of miniature traditional houses of various tribes in Indonesia (from Sabang to Merauke). There is even a textile gallery that stores various Indonesian textiles. The National Museum is located at Medan Merdeka Barat Street, Central Jakarta. The price of entrance ticket is Rp 5.000 for adults and Rp 2.000 for children. Opening hour is 8 am – 4 pm. It’s close on Monday and National Holiday.

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12. Visiting the Museum of Inscription
The Museum of Inscription was inaugurated on July 7, 1977 by the Governor of Jakarta, Ali Sadikin. Previously the museum was a Dutch cemetery. Therefore the museum stores a collection of wonderful inscriptions, gravestones, and tombs made of stone, marble, and bronze.

Some important figures whose gravestones exist in the Museum of Inscription include A.V Michiels, Commander of the Dutch Army in the Bali War; Dr. H.F. Roll, the leader of a Java Physician School which is the forerunner of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia; J.H.R. Kohler, Commander of the Dutch Army in the Aceh War; Olivia Marianne Raffles, wife of Thomas Stamford Raffles; And Soe Hok Gie, student movement activist in the 1960s.

The Museum of Inscription is located at Tanah Abang Street, Central Jakarta. The price of entrance ticket is Rp 5.000 for adults, Rp 2.000 for children and Rp 3.000 for students. Opening hour is 9 am – 3 pm. It’s close on Monday and National Holiday.

13. Visiting the Museum Joang 45
The Museum Joang 45 was inaugurated by President Soeharto in 1974. The museum keeps the history of the struggle for Indonesian independence. It has a number of paintings depicting the proclamation of Indonesian independence. There is also a diorama that describes the moment when President Soekarno gave a speech on the IKADA field in September 19, 1945.

The Museum Joang 45 retains documentation in the form of photographs and statues of the leaders of the independence movement. The presidential cars used by President Soekarno and Vice President Hatta are parked here, in a beautiful garage. The Museum Joang 45 is located at Menteng Raya Street, Central Jakarta. The price of entrance ticket is Rp 2.000. Opening hour is 9 am – 3 pm. It’s close on Monday and National Holiday.

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14. Visiting the Museum of Youth Pledge
The Museum of Youth Pledge was inaugurated in May 20, 1974 by President Soeharto. This building was once the venue for a Youth Congress II that sparked Youth Pledge that united the Indonesian nation. The museum displays a collection of photographs and objects related to the history of the Youth Pledge 1928, as well as activities in the national youth movement of Indonesia.

The Museum of Youth Pledge has a collection of photos of Youth Congress II, a human-sized statue showing Wage Rudolf Soepratman performing the national anthem of Indonesia Raya with his violin, sculptures of figures who play important role in Youth Congress II, and a relief showing the history of youth movements before and after the Proclamation of Independence. The Museum of Youth Pledge is located at Kramat Raya Street, Central Jakarta. The price of entrance ticket is Rp 2.000 for adults, Rp 1.000 for children and Rp 10.000 for foreigners. Opening hour is 8 am – 3 pm. It’s close on Monday and National Holiday.

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Well guys, now you know the top things to do near Monas Jakarta Indonesia. No doubt near Monas has the best Places To Visit in Indonesia with its historical and educational tour. Let’s visit near Monas Jakarta Indonesia..!

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