Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dutch VOC Cannons/Guns . Jakarta

An array of the Dutch cannons used in Indonesia ( except for a Javanese gun, 3rd from bottom )

An ornately decorated Dutch gun - probably used in the 17th century?

A Dutch Imperial Crest(?) engraved on the gun

More functional front loaded cannons used in the 18th century

The symbol of the VOC - not sure of the "A" inscribed - possibly "Artillery VOC "

Pictured above are some examples of the Dutch cannons /guns used in Indonesia by the Dutch in the 18th Century. An example of an ornately decorated cannon with an Imperial Dutch Crest (?) which was probably used in the attack of Jayakarta in 1602. These cannons are still exhibited in front of the National Museum of Jakarta.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Harmoni Jakarta

Harmonie of old ( Top) - Old Pictures courtesy from Tropenmuseum

View of Molenvliet West (Gaja Madah now) from Harmonie and a glimpse of Hotel des Indies on the right ( above)
View of Gaja Madah in present times, from the "location of Hotel des Indies" towards the "location of Harmonie" ( top & below)

Harmoni has been synonymous now to the Busway terminal as seen in the "now pictures" that serves commuters in central Jakarta. It has been an area where famous landmarks existed such as the Societeit de Harmonie ( Harmoni Club ) that stood at the junction of Jalan Veteran (Rijswijk) and Jalan Majapahit (Rijswijkstraat) and the Hotel Des Indies at Jalan Gaja Madah ( Molenvliet West).
The establishment of Societeit de Harmonie was continued when British occupied the Netherlands Indies by Lieutenant General Raffles in 1812. By late 1814, construction had been completed and Raffles opened the club officially in 18th of January 1815. That date was chosen to coincide with the official birthday of Queen Charlotte, wife of the British King George III.Legend has it that Raffles threw the front door keys into the canal in front of the clubhouse, and declared that the doors of the club would never close. It was also referred to as the Jenewerpaleis.

Batavia and Jakarta

The old City Hall of Batavia ( Now Historical Museum of Jakarta) and the Drinking Fountain in the foreground ( Picture above)

The Dutch VOC arrived what was known then, Jayakarta in 1596 to trade. In 1619, the Dutch with Japanese mercenaries attacked and destroyed Jayakarta which was then ruled by Prince Jayawikarta. Jan Pieterszoon Coen, an accountant by profession, led the attack. Legend has it that J P Coen was "Mur Jang Kung", whom was considered by the native Javanese as a legenderay figure. As such, J P Coen and the VOC were not conquerors, but were returning natives. Incidentally, "Jang Kung" means the tall one. After the success of Coen, he renamed Jayakarta, Batavia - after the teutonic tribe that were ancestors of the Dutch. Batavia remained the city's name for over 350 years under the Dutch, until WW2, when the Japanese Occupation forces in 1942 renamed it back to Ja(ya)karta.

The VOC ( Vereenigde OostIndische Compagnie) was etablished in in 1602 as a Chartered Trading Company by the Dutch ( United East Indian Company) . During the declining years up to 1800s, it was coined as the VOC - Vergaan Ouden Corruptie ; perished by Corruption!