Photo: Light floods in.

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 requested).

The interior sanctuary features an ornate baroque-style silver-coloured organ decorated with trumpeting and harp-playing angels, although we’re informed it no longer functions. Behind the organ, an ornamented wrought iron spiral staircase probably leads to the organists station, but we were not permitted to climb up for a peek. Other than the organ and a row of Corinthian columns flanking the eight archways, the white interior is rather restrained.

If you were wondering where AirAsia got their seating plan from... Photo taken in or around Gereja Blenduk, Semarang, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

If you were wondering where AirAsia got their seating plan from... Photo: Sally Arnold

A circular chandelier hangs from the high central dome of the light-filled church and modest geometric stained-glass windows are designed with simple octagonal patterns, repeated in the yellow, black and brown tile design of the floor. Rattan-backed teak chairs and pews are lined up to face an unusual free-standing teak pulpit with an umbrella-like domed cover echoing the ... Travelfish members only (Around 300 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Gereja Blenduk
32 Jalan Letnan Jendral Suprapto, Kota Lama, Semarang
T: (0243) 554 271 

Location map for Gereja Blenduk

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