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Gereja Blenduk

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The unusual copper-domed Gereja Blenduk in the heart of Semarang’s Kota Lama, or old city, is one of Indonesia’s most historic churches, built in 1753 and still welcoming worshippers for regular Sunday services.

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On first impressions we though we’d stumbled upon a bank, as churches of this style are rare in Indonesia: built on an octagonal footprint (which in Christian iconography represents the holy star), the imposing white structure is fronted by a classical four-columned portico, flanked by two clocktowers, a style echoed in the more contemporary 20th century-built Lawang Sewu, another of Semarang’s iconic buildings.

The striking copper dome. Photo taken in or around Gereja Blenduk, Semarang, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

The striking copper dome. Photo: Sally Arnold

The church is inscribed with GPIB (Gereja Potestan Indonesia Barat — West Indonesia Protestant Church) Immanuel—Gereja Blenduk, it’s common name refers to the dome, mblendhuk denotes a bulging shape in Javanese. Except for Sunday’s, the main doors are closed but visitors can gain entry from the side door facing the square and a guardian will point you in the direction of a “donation” box (10,000 rupiah ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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