Fun Weekend Photography Project: Week #31
I went to Museum Taman Prasasti with Ailsa for the 31st week of FWPP. This Museum is located at Jl. Tanah Abang 1, Central Jakarta.
This museum was a cemetery complex called Kerkhof Laan, later known as Kuburan Kebon Jahe Kober. The cemetary was built in 1795 to replace the cemetery next to Nieuw Hollandsche Kerk (now it’s Museum Wayang) and Sion Church in accordance to Daendels’s regulation for not burying the deaths around churches nor in private lands.
The cemetery was closed in 1975 because there was no space left. All the bodies were removed to other cemeteries, such as Ereveld Menteng Pulo and Tanah Kusir cemetery. The cemetery was then converted into a museum, which was inaugurated by Ali Sadikin, Governor of DKI Jakarta, on the 7th July, 1977. The Museum has 1,372 collections of inscriptions, headstones and monuments.
I Beg You, Oh Lord
Soe Hok Gie was once also buried at this cemetery before it was transformed into museum. Soe Hok Gie, an ethnic Chinese Indonesian, was known as an student activist who was against President Soekarno and PKI (Communist Party of Indonesia). He enjoyed hiking, and even died while hiking up the Mt. Semeru 3 days before his 27th birthday because of poisonous gas emitted by the volcano. Before being buried at Kebon Jahe Kober, Soe had been buried in Menteng Pulo. But once the Kebon Jahe Kober transformed into museum, his family cremated his body and spread the ash on the top of Mt. Pangrango. On Soe’s headstone it is written “Nobody Knows The Troubles I See .. Nobody Knows My Sorrow.”
From the information written on the headstones, I came to know that there were people of various nations that once lived in Batavia. There were graves of the Dutch, Americans, French, British, Jews, Chinese, etc. Most of the gravestones bear heraldry symbol, which shows from which social background, family and/or institution they belonged.
One thing I found interesting is that Kebon Jahe Kober cemetery (1795) is one of the oldest cemeteries in the world. It’s even older than Fort Cannin Park (1926) in Singapore, Gore Hill Cemetery (1868) in Sidney, Le Cimitière du Père Lachaise (1804) in Paris, Mount Auburn Cemetery (1831) di Cambridge which is America’s first landscaped or garden cemetery.
The Museum opens daily from Tuesday-Sunday, from 09.00-15.00. Ticket price is Rp. 2,000 (as on January 2011).
How to get there?
- Take TransJakarta corridor 1 (Blok M-Kota) bus and get off at Harmoni shelter;
- Walk straight toward the north to the direction of Jl. Majapahit, then turn right.
- Take TransJakarta bus corridor 1 (Blok M-Kota) and get off at Monas shelter.
- Walk to Jl. Museum (next to Museum Nasional) till you find Jl. Abdul Muis;
- Turn right to Jl. Tanah Abang 1;
- Turn left and walk till you find the Museum.