National Monument, Central Jakarta

My visit to Jakarta National Monument has happened a few years ago, but as a matter of fact I just published the travelog. At least I can show the condition of the National Monument (Monas) back then, while the main building of Monas in the form of a towering monument with a bunch of gold at the top of course has not changed.

When I passed on Jalan Merdeka Barat some time ago there were renovation works around the monument that has long been the main icon of the city of Jakarta. The National Monument was being cleaned up at that time to become a better tourist attractions, and now can be enjoyed by visitors. What looked different was the existence of white-painted wood-paneled benches in the pedestrian lane outside the National Monument installed on the orders of Jakarta Governor at that time, Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who later became president. Then there were several trees that looked freshly planted.

On the inside of the National Monument cup there is an amphitheater-shaped area called Space of Independence. Here stored in glass box the original Indonesian proclamation text in gold-plated gate, Garuda Pancasila, the gold-plated NKRI Map, the Red and White Flag, and a wall inscribed with the text of the Proclamation.

Jakarta National Monument
One point of view towards the Jakarta National Monument when renovation works were underway. The current conditions are certainly much better, and hopefully will continue to get better with the greater attention of the provincial government.

Not only improving and enhancing the existing facilities and parks, but the government also eliminating the illegal hawkers. From the parking area of IRTI Monas, on the side of Jl Merdeka Selatan, we have to walk about 700 meters to reach the Monas Monument, and then walk again approximately 200 meters to the entrance of the underground passage located to the north of the National Monument. Trip at Monas is a long walk exercise.

Jakarta National Monument
During my visit to the National Monument there were pretty exciting attractions, namely group sport skating. One group of five young girls. In Monas there are many activities depending to one's preference to choose. Cycling, jogging, or other group sporting activities. It was President Soekarno who intended to establish the National Monument. On August 17, 1954, a committee was formed to organize a national monument design contest in 1955. Of 51 designs, Frederich Silaban was selected. In the second contest of 1960 with 136 participants, none of them met the committee's requirements.

When Silaban's design was presented to Soekarno, Silaban was asked by Soekarno to redesign the National Monument by adopting Lingga Yoni form. The redesign of Silaban proved costly, but Silaban refused to design smaller monument. Architects R.M. Soedarsono then was asked by President Soekarno to work on Silaban's design. Soedarsono put the numbers of 17, 8 and 45, into the Silaban's design. National Monument was built starting on August 17, 1961 when President Soekarno symbolically laid the first concrete pegs in the park's vast area of ​​80 ha.

Jakarta National Monument
The Prince Diponegoro's statue is located near fountain pool. The 8-ton bronze statue was made by an Italian sculptor named Coberlato, donated by Consul General Honores, Dr Mario Bross. The underground tunnel entrance of the National Monument is 50 meters away from the statue, with the entrance ticket booth at the end of the tunnel. The 17-meter-high bowl of the National Monument is visible after leaving the underground passage. The height of space between Indonesian National History Museum to the bottom of the cup is 8 m (3 m underground plus 5 m stairs to the bottom of the cup). The square bowl plates, 45 x 45 m, all symbolize the sacred number 17-8-1945.

The independence torch covered by 50 kg of gold, 28 kg of which was donated by Teuku Markam a businessman from Aceh, is on the top of National Monument. The golden torch was 14 m tall, 6 m in diameter, and consisted of 77 unified sections. The torch, originally weighing 35 kg, was re-coated and added the weight of gold to 50 kg in 1995 in order to celebrate Indonesia's 50th Independence Day. Under the gold torch there is a 11 x 11 m viewing deck at an altitude of 115 meters from the ground level that can be reached by lift with a capacity of 11 people. In the viewing area that holds about 50 people there are binoculars that can be used to look around the city of Jakarta. Only once I went to the viewing deck.

Jakarta National Monument
On another visit we entered the Monas area from the north, and saw a delman (horse-drawn carriage) but the coachman turned his face away when about to be photographed. It's not that clear whether the delman can still enter the area of National Monument or not. However, there is always a sensation when riding on an andong and hear the sound of horse legs hitting the street and the sound of its typical bell.

The foundation of Monas was completed in March 1962, with 284 concrete pegs as the base of the building, and 360 concrete pegs as the base for National Historical Museum. The wall of the museum was completed in October, and the Lingga monument was completed in August 1963. The concept of Linga Yoni initiated by President Soekarno is a much more down to earth than the Gumul Simpang Lima Monument in Kediri. Lingga Yoni are symbols of female and male reproduction systems, which unity brings fertility and survival. Monas Monument can also symbolize the couple of Alu - Lesung which is familiar with the lives of farmers.

There area History of Indonesia Reliefs in the courtyard outside the monument, one of which illustrates the triumph of Singasari founded by Ken Arok in 1222. Another relief depicts the heyday of Majapahit, with the statue of Mapatih Gajah Mada at its end. In 1969-1976 were added dioramas in the National History Museum of Indonesia. Other reliefs depict fragments of the Dutch colonial era, the struggle of the people and national figures of Indonesia, the rise of national movements in the early 20th century, the events of the Youth Pledge, the Japanese occupation, the Proclamation of Independence, the post-proclamation revolutionary struggle, until the Indonesian development period.

There is also a pool on the north side as part of the National Monument air conditioning system. The fountain pool is on the West side, adjacent to the TransJakarta Bus Stop, as well as another fountain on the East side, near Kartini Statue. Monas was inaugurated and opened to the public on July 12, 1975 by President Soeharto although there were still improvements works here and there.

Jakarta National Monument

Address : Taman Medan Merdeka, Central Jakarta. GPS Location : -6.175542, 106.827117, Waze ( smartphone Android and iOS ). Open : 09.00 - 16.00. Close on end of the month's Monday. Entrance ticket : Rp. 5.000, student Rp 3.000, kids Rp 2.000, Rp. 10.000 to Monas' peak, student Rp 5.000, kids Rp 2.000. Reference : Map of Jakarta, Destinations in Jakarta, Hotel in Central Jakarta.
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