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Museum Gedung Sate

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On just about any tourist brochure or poster promoting Bandung, you’ll find images of Gedung Sate, this quintessential Bandung landmark is the city’s “Eiffel Tower”.

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Gedung Sate functions as the Office of the Provincial Governor of West Java, originally built as the Gouvernement Bedrijven (government building) for the intended new capital of the Dutch East Indies back when the colonialists planned to move from swampy malaria-infested Batavia (modern-day Jakarta), to cool (and much more fun) Bandung. Some reports suggest this plan was thawed by Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, who believed landlocked Bandung was risky to defend, cumbersome for trade and generally a folly, while most other accounts suggest it was due to World War II and the growing nationalist movement in Bandung which eventually led to Indonesia’s independence.

Enjoy a bird’s eye view without being a bird. Photo taken in or around Museum Gedung Sate, Bandung, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Enjoy a bird’s eye view without being a bird. Photo: Sally Arnold

Regardless, the building was completed and it is an outstanding example of what is known as the New Indies Style. Gedung Sate’s rather amusing local moniker, literally “satay building” comes from the spire that crowns the building and looks like a giant satay skewer. This spire acts as a lightening rod and the six rounded-diamond-shaped “meat” ornaments symbolise the nominal cost of construction—six million gulden, pricey satay! Possibly too, an architectural reference to stacked shell money seen in some parts of Eastern Indonesia or strung buds of jasmine used in offerings or simply an abacus.

Designed by Dutch government architect, Johan Gerber in 1920, the building is architecturally significant for being one of the first to combine Indonesian and European styles. The triple-tiered roof on the central tower echoes the Hindu Meru style as well as the roofline of traditional Javanese mosques. Islamic ornamentation surrounds the tower and other liberal use of Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic references combined with a European ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Museum Gedung Sate
22 Jalan Diponegoro, Bandung
Tu–Su: 09:30–16:00
T: (0224) 233 347
Admission: Free

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