Syahbander Menara

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Syahbander Menara, Jakarta Overview

Syahbandar Menara was a guiding tower for ships in Batavia. The tower consists of three floors, the top floor being the viewing room and the ground floor being used to imprison those who violated the port rules. The tower was originally a castle with a tunnel connecting through Fatahillah and Istiqlal Mosque, now closed. Tourists can climb a ladder inside the tower to witness the ships at Sunda Kelapa harbour.

The Syahbander tower was constructed in the year 1839 and was earlier called the Uitkijk post. Till 1886 it functioned as a watchtower for ships leaving and entering Batavia and as the tax collection office for the goods unloaded at Sunda Kelapa port. It was the tallest building in Batavia at that time. However, after the construction of the port Tanjung Priok, the tower wasn’t used further. One has to reach the top of the tower by ascending through 77 stairs.

The building is 200 years old and is slightly tilting over time and thus has also been given the name “The leaning tower”. The landmark represented kilometre 0 to Jakarta at that time. There is a steel gate which marks the underground passage in the building which leads to the Jakarta History Museum and Istiqlal mosque however it has been closed for safety. The tower area has a stone slab inscribed with Chinese characters denoting it as the zero point of Batavia and 7 cannons. The inscription landmark in the front yard is signed by the then-governor Ali Sadikin.

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Things to Do

Visit the Bahari Museum which has an interesting display of historic maritime objects like boats and boat replica, pictures, showpieces and navigation maps of sailors. There is a display of the majestic traditional Indonesian boats like Jukung Karere, Lancang Kuning and Phinisi.

Visit the old town area: Apart from the museum's nearby, though there's nothing much to do in the old town area, one can enjoy a pleasant bicycle ride and see the beautiful and old colonial houses and visit one of the many cafes in the area. Old Batavia cafe is the most popular cafe there. 

Sunday Kelapa Port: It is the early 16th century Post from where Dutch domination of Indonesia began. It has a fish market or Padar Ikan now which can be explored.

Glodok Chinatown and Kota Intan Bridge are some of the well known nearby attractions.

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