Tucked away amidst the hustle and bustle of Indonesia's modern capital is Kota Tua Jakarta, the Old Town area of the city. Covering about 320 acres (1.3km2), this quaint part of Jakarta has an old world charm about it and gives you a chance to learn more about the history of the city.
Kota Tua Jakarta was initially known as Batavia by the Dutch who occupied the area and made it the administrative headquarters of the Dutch East India Company. Used as a trading port to trade such items as tobacco and spices, this small city flourished under the Dutch and their influence can be seen not only in the presence of a canal system, but also in the old buildings which showcase the European architecture of the time.
Explore by bicycle or on foot
A great place for a leisurely stroll or bicycle ride, the Old Town spans across the north and west parts of the city and has several places of interest worth visiting. One such attraction is the Jakarta History Museum which is known locally as the Fatahillah Museum. Home to a variety of historic maps, archaeological relics, paintings and even furniture dating back to the 17th century, this attraction gives one a chance to learn about the history of Jakarta and its early beginnings.
The building that houses the museum is in itself a
historical landmark since it was used as the Batavia City Hall by
the Dutch colonists.
Other places of interest in Kota Tua Jakarta include the Fine Art and Ceramic Museum, the Maritime Museum, Fatahillah Square, Cafe Batavia and the Wayang Museum which showcases the traditional art of shadow puppetry.