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Museum Bank Indonesia

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Museum Bank Indonesia offers a well–presented and revealing history of Indonesia (with a focus on economics)‚ in a beautifully restored colonial building in Jakarta’s historic Kota Tua (old city), easily the best museum in this area.

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Even if the financial industry is of little interest (don’t be turned off by the word “Bank”), the history is engaging and the architecture alone is well worth a look. The imposing edifice was built for De Javasche Bank in the early 20th century, designed by Dutch architect Eduard Cuypers who was known for incorporating local elements into his design—if you look carefully you will see Kala heads in the pediments of the inner courtyard, an element common in Hindu temples in Java. He later went on to build branches of the bank in Bandung, Medan, Surabaya and Makassar. Post independence the bank was nationalised and Bank Indonesia went on to build new headquarters in central Jakarta in the 1960s when this grand complex was left to deteriorate until restoration began in 2006, opening as a museum three years later.

Setting the scene. Photo taken in or around Museum Bank Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Setting the scene. Photo: Sally Arnold

After purchasing your ticket at the beautiful old tellers’ grille, proceed to the hushed cool marble halls of the cashiers’ room with a towering ceiling and beautiful lead-light windows that flood the room with dappled light. Step into the security cages as realistic and somewhat creepy mannequins of Chinese and Dutch businesspeople help bring the scene to life in this high security area. The presentation then moves back a few centuries to the seafaring days of the early spice trade in the archipelago—creaking floorboards and the sound of waves add to the whizz bang effects and multimedia displays. There’s even a smell-o-rama zone where it’s possible to smell cloves, cinnamon ... Travelfish members only (Around 700 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Museum Bank Indonesia
3 Jalan Pintu Besar Utara, Jakarta
Tu–TH: 08:00–15:30 Fr:08:00–11:35 & 13:00–15:30 Sa–Su: 08:00–16:00
T: (0212) 6001 588
Admission: 5,000 rupiah. Groups are free by prior arrangement.

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