Bentara Budaya Jakarta

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Bentara Budaya Jakarta, Jakarta Overview

Bentara Budaya Jakarta is an art gallery-cum-museum in Jakarta. It houses interesting art collection gathered by Jakob Oetama that includes the work of Indonesian craftsmen of wooden puppets, sculptors, painters, etc. The art gallery hosts many exhibitions to promote the art culture of Indonesia, hence the place was known as a cultural institution. On rare occasions, the visitors might find art works from foreign artists.

The building was first called ‘Schouwburg’ since they made the first performance of the famous play ‘Othello’ by Shakespeare. Gedung Kesenian Jakarta is today a hub for artists from all over the island to showcase their talent ranging from theatre, drama, film and even literature. The structure was initially erected as a simple structure which was later modified into an empire style. Since then, there have been many transformations which have taken place from time to time since it was founded in 1821.

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History of Gedung Kesenian

The idea of creation of a theater took root from the Governor-General of Jakarta Herman Willem Daendels and was put into action by Stamford Raffles. The theater began as a simple bamboo construction which was built by the English soldiers and could accommodate around 250 people. 

By the year 1820, the theatre started to undergo some form of deterioration due to which it was decided to replace it with a more permanent structure. The new building was finally inaugurated in December 1821, with Shakespeare’s Othello being the very first play to be staged in the theater.

Festival and Events

During the national holiday before the celebrations of Eid, many people go back and forth to their hometown to celebrate the festival or explore some other activities in Jakarta. The Jakarta Fair is a routine activity to welcome Jakarta's birthday in June. There are some amazing entertaining events coupled with food and a peppy program by national singers and bands.

‘Ancol Asian Festival’ is an event which celebrates the biggest event in Asia which is the Asian games. Another event for clothes lovers is the ‘JakCloth Lebaran’, which is an annual event with over 400 brands. ‘Jakarta anniversary celebration’ is another huge celebration of activities and festivals to welcome Jakarta’s birthday, which takes place at Gedung Kesenian.

Booking Tickets

One will find many events which are happening regularly at Gedung Kesenian theater, one can visit the official website for the upcoming events and book online by making the payment through debit card or credit card. One can also check at the counter for direct purchase of tickets for various events.

How to Reach

Gedung Kesenian is located on Jalan Gedung Seni 1, Sawah Besar, Central Jakarta which is right in front of Pasar Baru. There are many public buses which are marked yellow and which will take one to the location. Bus B22, Bus GAMBIR, Bus - P07, Bus - P157, Bus - R507 are some buses which ply to Gedung Kesenian. For a more convenient option, one can also hire a private taxi or the Blue taxi which will take one directly to the location without much hassle.

Address:  Jl. Gedung Kesenian No.1, Ps. Baru, Kecamatan Sawah Besar, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta, Indonesia.

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