Photo: Atmospheric in the evening.

Lawang Sewu

Our rating:

What the Eiffel Tower is to Paris and the Opera House is to Sydney, Lawang Sewu is to Semarang.

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Ok, so it perhaps doesn’t attract as many punters, but it certainly piqued our interest enough to jump on a plane to check it out (we’re a bit nerdy when it comes to great architecture). Semarang’s iconic building has a mixed history: it was built at the beginning of the 20th century as an administrative building for the Dutch East Indies Railway Company (Nederlandsch-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij) and during WWII was occupied by the Japanese, reportedly to have been used for torture and interrogation. For years later it lay derelict, occasionally used by the army until a major renovation project from 2010 to 2015 restored it to its former glory and has now reopened to the public as an excellent museum.

Stately. Photo taken in or around Lawang Sewu, Semarang, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Stately. Photo: Sally Arnold

Lawang Sewu commands a grand corner position overlooking a major roundabout that harbours Tugu Muda Park. A city landmark, the Tugu Muda (youth monument), a flaming torch-like obelisk, commemorates the bloody “Battle of Semarang”, a five-day skirmish that took place in 1945 between the Angkatan Muda Kereta Api (Railway Youth Force) and ... Travelfish members only (Around 800 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Lawang Sewu
Cnr of Jalan Pemuda and Jalan Pandanaran
Mo–Su: 07:00–21:00
Admission: 10,000 rupiah for adults, 5,000 rupiah for kids.

Location map for Lawang Sewu

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Semarang.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Semarang.
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Where to next?

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