Time Required : 2-3 hours
Located in Sawah Besar of Jakarta, Gedung Kesenian Jakarta or the Jakarta Art Building is a concert hall. It was established during the Dutch colonization by Sir Stamford Raffles. The building's Dutch heritage is reflected in its architecture and gives the concert hall a distinctly vintage vibe. Gedung Kesenian Jakarta plays host to a myriad of orchestral performances, theatrical showcases, musical ensembles, and so much more and is sure to host events that cater to every visitor's interest.
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.
The idea of creation of a theatre took root from the Governor-General of Jakarta Herman Willem Daendels and was put into action by Stamford Raffles. The theatre 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 theatre.
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