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7 Historical Places in Bandung You Need to Visit in Your Lifetime

by Vina Krisna Yanti
Perjuangan Rakyat Jawa Barat Monument

Bandung, the capital city of West Java Province, is known to be an outstanding tourism city in Indonesia. It has cool temperature which will make you feel refresh from the daily life routine. There are also many selections of tasty culinary spots in Bandung that will keep your stomach full until you’re ready to depart the city.

Despite the tourism attractions and all, deep inside the city, lies the history of Indonesia’s independence. It is notable that Indonesia was colonialized for over 3.5 centuries. The struggle was so real. Every young man in every region was participating in order to gain back the independence of Indonesia. And so did Bandung.

Historical Event in Bandung

Bandung Lautan Api

One of the historical events in Bandung is Bandung Lautan Api which is literally translated as Bandung Sea of Fire. And it was literally sea of fire. Following the Indonesian declaration of independence, Bandung was tensed with battle between the Indonesian armed forces along with the young nationalists with Japanese and British forces on the other hand.

On March 23rd, 1946, the battle broke out. The southern side of Bandung was deliberately flaring within 11 kilometers limit, burning down thousands of buildings and supplies. Evacuation for hundrends of thousands of civilians was optimized, but the death toll was still high.

This was a heartbreaking yet important event in Indonesia’s Revolution Era that indicates the beginning of the independence. To commemorate the event and hundrends of thousands of civilians and heroes who died in the battle field, many monuments were built and the historical places are preserved.

There are even many best museums in Bandung that preserve and showcase the history of Indonesia. No wonder, you can find many historical places in this city. So, is Bandung worth visiting? Definitely! Especially if you want to know more about Indonesia’s history.

Since the lists of the places to visit can be so long, we have made a list of 7 historical places in Bandung that you need to visit in your lifetime. Check them out below!

1. Bandung Lautan Api Monument

Bandung Lautan Api Monument

Clearly, it was built to commemorate the battle of Bandung Lautan Api. This battle is not only seen as a remark of Indonesia’s independence but also the devotion put by Indonesian for their country.

The people of Bandung bet their lives only to protect their homeland and country’s dignity. And as a memorial to the big event, this monument was built. It is located on Jl. Bkr. Ciateul, Regol, Bandung, West Java with about 45 meters high.

The monument was purposefully designed with a blazing fire on top of it which reflects the flaring spirits of the people of Bandung in fighting for their region. Mural paintings are also placed around the monument with the paintings of Indonesian heroes.

2. Sate Building

Sate Building

The name Sate Building, locally known as Gedung Sate, is taken from the ornament on top of the building that looks like a skewer or sate in Indonesia. This building was built in 1920 with the labor of over 2,000 Indonesians and is still firmly standing up to this day. Now, it is functioned as a governmental building.

During the Dutch colonial era, Sate Building was called as Gouvernements Bedrijven . At first, it was used as the office for transportation department. When Batavia, the former name of Jakarta, was considered inappropriate anymore as the center for the Dutch governmental purpose, they used this building in replace.

On December 3rd, 1945, a battle that killed 7 young Indonesian happened at this building. The young heroic Indonesians were trying to defend the building from the attacks of Gurkhas troops that were supported by the Dutch. A monument to commemorate the seven brave youngsters was built at the back of this building.

3. Merdeka Building

Merdeka Building

Located in Asia Afrika street No. 65, Bandung, Merdeka Building is in the area of Bandung old town. In the past, Merdeka Building was used as a shop by a Chinese-Indonesian. In 1879, this building was popular as the gathering place for the Dutch.

Merdeka building was then sold to a new owner, got renovated, and then functioned as a “super club” with expanded area. During the Japanese occupation, Merdeka building was used as a cultural center. And during the battle between Indonesians and Japanese, the building’s the headquarters for Indonesians.

Only in 1955, the building was renamed by the first president of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno, as Gedung Merdeka. As you enter this building, you will find yourself taken back to many periods in the past since when the building was first built.

4. Indonesia Menggugat Building

Indonesia Menggugat Building

The name of the building was taken from the title of speech that was made and delivered by Ir. Soekarno. It’s literally translated as Indonesia Sues Building and known as Indonesie Klaagt Aan in Dutch. Ir. Soekarno delivered his speech in one of the room in this building in his political trial back in the 1930.

The building was functioned for many purposes by the Dutch before finally taken back by Indonesians. The name was given in 2005 and now it’s functioned for public visit since 2007. Going to this place will give you further insight of how it was back then.

5. Husein Sastranegara Monument

Husein Sastranegara Monument

Obviously, the monument was built in regards to the service done by Husein Sastranegara. He is the pioneer of Indonesia National Air Force Army.

He worked collaboratively in building the army with his colleagues, which are Agustinus Adisucipto, Halim Perdanakusuma, Abdulrahman Saleh, and Iswahyudi.

Husein Sastranegara passed away when he was 27 because of a crash in the village of Gowongan Lor, Yogyakarta. His name was then used as the name for International Airport and Air Base. He is an important figure to the army and defense of Indonesia.

6. Pasir Ipis Fortress

Pasir Ipis Fortress

On the sixth place, we have Pasir Ipis fortress. It was a fortress used in the Dutch colonial era. The fortress stretches one kilometer away from Pasir Ipis village. It’s built in around 1891-1930. When you come to this place, you’ll find that most of the fortress are burried and hidden in trees.

The building is also covered in moss. It’s so unfortunate that the fortress doesn’t get enough attention from the government. No reports were found about this fortress. But, it’s believed that it’s functioned as the bunker for the Dutch during the World War 1.

7. Perjuangan Rakyat Jawa Barat Monument

Perjuangan Rakyat Jawa Barat Monument

This monument is huge and modern. It is used to commemorate the struggle of West Java citizens during the battle of Indonesia’s independence. It’s also functioned as a museum and was established in 1995. The design of the monument resembles bambu runcing or sharpened bamboo, the weapon used by Indonesians to fight the colonials before firearms.

There are also reliefs that tell the struggle of West Java citizens. Since the Dutch colonial had entered Indonesia during the kingdoms era, the reliefs also tell about the struggle in the period. You can learn better about Indonesia’s history as there are also library, audiovisual room, and many other facilities.

It’s always fascinating to find the historical background behind a place, building, or monument. Visiting the historical places on this list will surely introduce you further to what Indonesia had faced for gaining its own independence.

If you are curious to know more about Indonesia’s history, you can try visiting other historical places in Indonesia. You can visit historical places in Palembang, historical sites in Banten, or the best museums in Bandung.

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