Photo: Beautiful old buildings.

Museum Bahari (Maritime Museum)

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Indonesia’s maritime trading history literally put the archipelago on the map, and Jakarta’s Museum Bahari (Maritime Museum) focuses on the importance of this age of commerce and discovery as well as traditional seafaring and its significance to the nation referred to as “Tanah Air” literally “the land and the sea”.





The museum occupies historic spice warehouses built by the Dutch East India Company in the 1600s. Sadly on 16 January 2018 a fire ripped through the 17th century heritage buildings and razed much of the fascinating collection. It’s a crying shame, said to have been caused by an electrical short circuit which highlights the general neglect and lack of maintenance in many of Jakarta’s museums. Over 300 years of history up in smoke. Nevertheless, the museum is open to the public and what was salvaged is enough to still warrant a visit.

The museum has all sorts of boats ... big ones ...  Photo taken in or around Museum Bahari (Maritime Museum), Jakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

The museum has all sorts of boats ... big ones ... Photo: Sally Arnold

The museum is about a 15-minute walk from Fatahillah Square in Kota Tua, not far from the entrance to Sunda Kelapa, Jakarta’s historic harbour. As you enter Jalan Parar Ikan, the street where the museum is located, on your right is Menara Syahbandar (Harbourmaster’s Tower). This watchtower was built by the Dutch in 1839 over one of the bastions of the original city wall and served as a harbour guard post, customs office, weather station and lighthouse.

A stone inscription in Chinese suggests (according to the museums signage) that this was at one point Jakarta’s zero kilometre marker (now designated as Monas). Over the centuries the swampy foundations have caused the tower to have a slight southward lean, and locals sometimes refer to it as Menara Miring—Jakarta’s own leaning tower. Your museum ticket includes entry to this area, so don’t forget check out the small buildings here filled with nautical equipment and climb the tower on the way back for a 360º view of old Jakarta from the red painted viewing platform at the top of ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Museum Bahari (Maritime Museum)
1 Jalan Pasar Ikan, Jakarta
Tu–Su: 09:00–15:00
T: (0216) 693 406 F: (0216) 690 518;
museumbahari@yahoo.com
Admission: 5,000 rupiah

Location map for Museum Bahari (Maritime Museum)

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