Art deco architecture and spooky vaults
Published/Last edited or updated: 4th July, 2018
If your interests include Art deco architecture or quirky old technology, Museum Bank Mandiri is absolutely worth a look—the magnificent stained glass at the entrance is worth the cost of the ticket alone.
A fine example of Jakarta’s colonial Art deco architecture, the building was constructed in the early 1930s, designed by Dutch architects, De Bruijn, Smits and Van de Linde for Nerdelandsche Handel Maatschappij (NHM), the Netherlands Trading Society, sometimes cited as the successor of the VOC. After a succession of takeovers and name changes the bank finally ended up in the hands of Bank Mandiri who it seems dumped all their old banking equipment in this building and opened a museum.
To be fair, there has been some attempt to offer museum-style displays of the history of trade and development, it is just very poorly presented compared to the neighbouring museum (and is mostly in Indonesian). Glass cabinets of paraphernalia including old phones, typewriters and adding machines along with stock certificates and ledgers form most of the displays on the main floor.
The architecture though is the big star here, and we like that much seems to have been left in its original condition including the old Dutch signage from the 1930s, so take your time to explore the building itself. Explore the conference rooms and offices on the upper level and don’t miss the “Brandkast”—the vault on the lower level entered via the stairs to the left of the main entrance. Within the vault is a fascinating collection of safety deposit boxes and safes, to us the most interesting part of the building.
Discriminatory pricing is in effect here—foreigners charged double what locals are. Bags must be left in the cloakroom.
Address: 1 Jalan Pintu Besar Utara, Jakarta
Coordinates (for GPS): 106º48'49.22" E, 6º8'13.08" S
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: 10,000 rupiah for foreigners and 5,000 rupiah for Indonesians.
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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