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Featured History/Culture Info for Expats

Top Historical and Art Museums in Jakarta

Top Historical and Art Museums in Jakarta
Top Historical and Art Museums in Jakarta

With all the novelty towering over this massive lively capital, Jakarta is as educational as it is entertaining.

Countless museums are conspicuously scattered throughout the city, standing firmly in colonial or modern nuances.

Stroll around these top historical and art museums the next time you have no idea what to do besides deactivating your hermit crab mode.

– HISTORY

Fatahillah Museum or Jakarta History Museum

Fatahillah Museum or Jakarta History Museum
Fatahillah Museum or Jakarta History Museum

Fatahillah Museum, also known as the Jakarta History Museum, located in the Kota Tua area, is by far one of the most visited museums by tourists. This place used to be a city hall in the era of the VOC government in Batavia.

According to the Education and Culture Ministry’s website, the building was originally the office of a museum institution until 1919, when the locals and the Dutch began to be interested in Batavia’s history. The Oud Batavia Foundation (Old Batavia) was established in 1930 and aimed to collect all of Batavia’s remnants, but was only publicly opened in 1939. Apart from the history, many satisfy their curiosity regarding the museum’s underground dungeon notoriously known for being haunted.

  • Operational hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 9am-3pm
  • Address: Jalan Taman Fatahillah No.1, Pinangsia, Kota Tua, West Jakarta.

Wayang Museum

Wayang Museum
Wayang Museum

Wayang, otherwise known as shadow puppets, is one of Indonesia’s many cultural heritages. This unique-looking building has undergone renovations after formerly being a church. Here, visitors can view a collection of wayang from Sabang to Merauke such as Wayang Kulit, Wayang Golek, Wayang Beber, Wayang Klitik, Wayang Revolusi, Wayang Suket or toys, paintings, masks, dolls, wooden sculptures, and gamelan.

  • Operational hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 9am-3pm / Saturday-Sunday: 9am-8pm
  • Address: Jalan Pintu Besar Utara No.27, West Jakarta.
  • Instagram: @wayangmuseum

Museum Taman Prasasti

Museum Taman Prasasti
Museum Taman Prasasti

This inscription museum of cultural heritage relics of the Dutch colonial period was previously a cemetery built in 1795 by the Dutch colonial government. Nowadays, it exhibits various Dutch inscriptions, such as a collection of ancient tomb inscriptions, antique hearses, inauguration inscriptions during the colonial occupation, and miniature tombs characteristical by Indonesia’s 27 provinces.

  • Operational hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 9am-3pm
  • Address: Jalan Tanah Abang I No.1, Gambir, Jakarta Pusat.

National Museum or Museum Gajah

National Museum
National Museum. Source: detik.com

The museum used to be named Museum Gajah – gajah means elephant – due to an iconic bronze elephant statue outside the building gifted by King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) of Thailand, who visited the museum in 1871. As an archaeological, historical, ethnological, and geographical museum, visitors can learn about the history of Indonesia through inscriptions and statues from the kingdoms of the past.

  • Operational hours: Tuesday-Friday: 8am-4pm / Saturday-Sunday: 8am-5pm
  • Address: Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat No.12, Gambir, Jakarta Pusat.
  • Instagram: @museumnasionalindonesia

Textile Museum

Textile Museum
Textile Museum

The idea to establish a Textile Museum arose in 1975 against the flooding of modern textiles which were feared to shift the traditional textiles of the archipelago. Therefore, this museum collects, preserves, and exhibits a wide collection of Indonesian fabrics such as woven fabrics and batik from Yogyakarta, Solo, Pekalongan, Cirebon, Palembang, Madura, and Riau to name a few regions. Besides cloth, this museum also has a collection of equipment like traditional looms. Take time to learn batik-making while you’re here!

  • Operational hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 9am-3pm
  • Address: Jalan Aipda Ks. Tubun No.2-4, Palmerah, West Jakarta.
  • Instagram: @museum_tekstiljkt

Onrust Island Museum

Onrust Island Museum
Onrust Island Museum

Located in the Thousand Islands, this museum is a silent witness to Jakarta’s long history. The island’s name derives from a Dutch descent named Baas Onrust CVDW, and Onrust in Dutch means never rest. This island was once a place for loading and unloading VOC merchant ships, a witness to the dispute between Banten and the Kingdom of Jayakarta, an isolation spot for people who had contracted infectious diseases, an exile for political prisoners during the Japanese occupation, and accommodation for German prisoners.

  • Operational hours: Daily: 24 hours
  • Address: Onrust/Ship, Pulau Seribu Selatan, Pulau Untung Jawa, Thousand Islands, Jakarta.

– ART

MACAN Museum (Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara)

Museum MACAN
MACAN Museum. Source: Museum.co.id

MACAN Museum is the first museum in Indonesia that displays modern and contemporary Indonesian and international art. Some of the displayed art pieces are collected by the initiator of the museum himself, Haryanto Adikoesoemo. An oasis for enthusiasts since 2017, MACAN Museum aims to be a medium for both local and international aspiring artists to globally display their art. Visitors of all ages are welcome as the museum strives to provide education through art, cultural exchange, as well as professional development through special programmes and exhibitions.

  • Operational hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-7pm
  • Address: AKR Tower, Level M, Jl. Length No. 5, Kebon Jeruk, Jakarta Barat
  • Instagram: @museummacan

ART:1 New Museum

Art:1 New Museum
Art:1 New Museum. Source: Museum.co.id

Art:1 New Museum and Art Space is the official name of this museum, and it’s the latest edition for Jakarta’s art lovers to dwell in. Initially, this museum was an art gallery called Mon Decor Art Gallery, which opened 1983. Visitors are urged to venture into two areas. Art:1 New Museum has a collection of well-known artists consisting of paintings, sculptures, and installation works. Meanwhile, the Art Space is a setting for artists to showcase their paintings, installations, video art, and photographic works.

  • Operational hours: Tuesday -Saturday: 10am-6pm / Sunday: 10am-4pm
  • Address: Jl. Rajawali Selatan Raya No.3, Sahari Utara, Sawah Besar, Jakarta Pusat.
  • Instagram: @art1newmuseum

MOJA Museum

MOJA Museum
MOJA Museum

Get ready to explore 14 rooms that have TV and cinema themes! The museum, which just opened in 2018, offers vibrant and playful interactive sets for a pleasurable day of photographs and utter joy. Some activities to do at MOJA Museum include rollerskating, minigolf, and painting on a canvas or wall. Unleash your inner creativity here!

  • Operational hours Monday-Sunday: 11am-7pm
  • Address: Gelora Bung Karno Sports Complex, Main Stadium, Zona Biru 8-9, Gelora, Central Jakarta.
  • Instagram: @mojamuseum

Get lost and entertained in art and history on a museum date with your loved ones or for a much-deserved me time. Discover the amusing side of Jakarta with your family and friends. Whether it’s learning about the past, experiencing the culture, or being intrigued by a newfound “home”, museums enable us to identify how our predecessors lived and broaden our horizons. Which one are you interested to pay a visit?

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