Monday, September 28, 2009

Bandung love Full

History of Bandung

The map of Ancient Bandung as Pre-historical Lake.

The city history dates from 1488 when the first reference to Bandung exists. But from ancient archeological finds, we know the city was home to Australopithecus, Java Man. These people lived on the banks of the Cikapundung in north Bandung, and on the shores of the Great Lake of Bandung. Flint artifacts can still be found in the Upper Dago area and the Geological Museum has displays and fragments of skeletal remains and artifacts.

The Sundanese were a pastoral people farming the fertile regions of Bandung. They developed a lively oral tradition which includes the still practiced Wayang Golekpuppet theatre, and many musical forms. "There is a city called Bandung, comprising 25 to 30 houses," wrote Juliaen de Silva in 1614.

The achievements of European adventurers to try their luck in the fertile and prosperous Bandung area, led eventually to 1786 when a road was built connecting Jakarta, Bogor, Cianjur and Bandung. This flow was increased when in 1809 Louis Napoleon, the ruler of the Netherlands, ordered Governor General H.W. Daendels, to increase defences in Java against English. The vision was a chain of military defense units and a supply road between Batavia and Cirebon. But this coastal area was marsh and swamp, and it was easier to construct the road further south, across the Priangan highlands.

The Grote Postweg (Great Post Road) was built 11 miles north of the then capital of Bandung. With his usual terseness, Daendels ordered the capital to be relocated to the road. Bupati Wiranatakusumah II chose a site south of the road on the western bank of the Cikapundung, near a pair of holy wells, Sumur Bandung, supposedly protected by the ancient goddess Nyi Kentring Manik. On this site he built hisdalem (palace) and the alun-alun (city square). Following traditional orientations,Mesjid Agung (The Grand Mosque) was placed on the western side, and the public market on the east. His residence and Pendopo (meeting place) was on the south facing the mystical mountain of Tangkuban Perahu. Thus was The Flower Cityborn.

Around the middle of the l9th Century, South American cinchona (quinine), Assam tea, and coffee was introduced to the highlands. By the end of the century Priangan was registered as the most prosperous plantation area of the province. In 1880 the rail line connecting Jakarta and Bandung was completed, and promised a 2 1/2 hour trip from the blistering capital in Jakarta to Bandung.

With this life changed in Bandung, hotels, cafes, shops sprouted up to serve the planters who either came down from their highland plantations or up from the capital to frolic in Bandung. The Concordia Society was formed and with its large ballroom was the social magnet for weekend activities in the city. The Preanger Hotel and the Savoy Homann were the hotels of choice. The Braga became the promenade, lined with exclusive Europeans shops.

With the railroad, light industry flourished. Once raw plantation crops were sent directly to Jakarta for shipment to Europe, now primary processing could be done efficiently in Bandung. The Chinese who had never lived in Bandung in any number came to help run the facilities and vendor machines and services to the new industries. Chinatown dates from this period.

In the first years of the present century, Pax Neerlandica was proclaimed, resulting in the passing of military government to a civilian one. With this came the policy of decentralization to lighten the administrative burden of the central government. And so Bandung became a municipality in 1906.

This turn of events left a great impact on the city. City Hall was built at the north end of Braga to accommodate the new government, separate from the original native system. This was soon followed by a larger scale development when the military headquarters was moved from Batavia to Bandung around 1920. The chosen site was east of City Hall, and consisted of a residence for the Commander in Chief, offices, barracks and military housing.

By the early 20's the need for skilled professionals drove the establishment of the technical high school that was sponsored by the citizens of Bandung. At the same time the plan to move the capital of the Netherlands Indies from Batavia to Bandung was already mature, the city was to be extended to the north. The capital district was placed in the northeast, an area that had formerly been rice fields, and a grand avenue was planned to run for about 2.5 kilometers facing the fabledTangkuban Perahu volcano with Gedung Sate at the south end, and a colossal monument at the other. on both sides of this grand boulevard buildings would house the various offices of the massive colonial government.

Along the east bank of the Cikapundung River amidst natural scenery was the campus of the Technische Hoogeschool, dormitories and staff housing. The old campus buildings and its original landscaping reflect the genius of its architectHenri Maclain Pont. The southwestern section was reserved for the municipal hospital and the Pasteur Institute, in the neighborhood of the old quinine factory. These developments were carefully planned down to the architectural and maintenance details. These years shortly before World War II were the golden ones in Bandung and those alluded to today as Bandung Tempoe Doeloe.

The war years did little to change the city of Bandung, but in 1946, facing the return of the Colonial Dutch to Indonesia, citizens chose to burn down their beloved Bandung in what has become known as Bandung Lautan Api, Bandung Ocean of Fire. Citizens fled to the southern hills and overlooking the "ocean of flames" penned "Halo Halo Bandung," the anthem promising their return. Political unrest colored the early years of Independence and consequently people flocked to Bandung where safety was. The population skyrocketed from 230,000 in 1940 to 1 million by 1961. Economic prosperity following the oil boom in the 70's pushed this further so that by 1990 there were 2 million inhabitants.

Present day Bandung is thriving. As home to more than 35 schools of higher education, there is a vibrant collegiate atmosphere. The excellent fine arts offerings have produced an artist colony of great repute and excitement. The textile industry is the largest in the country and contributes to a vigorous business climate.

In 1987 the city extended its administrative boundaries toward a Greater Bandung Plan (Bandung Raya) Plans for the city include higher concentrations of development outside the current city centre, in an attempt to dilute some of the population density in the old core. These days Bandung Raya is still years ahead, yet the land has suffered deeply. Commercial activities run amok, God only knows who can take control. The city core is practically uprooted, old faces are torn down, lot sizes regrouped, and what was idyllic residence is now bustling chain supermarkets and rich banks.

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The Old and New Pictures of Bandung View from The Air

Side by side comparison between old Bandung Aerial Photographs and nowadays Bandung Satellite Photos

Around Gedung Sate Area

The old picture was taken in 1925, North of Gedung Sate there are no buildings on the picture, only the Geological Laboratory, beside which the Geological Museum later was to be built, is already completed. In 2007 satellite photo, Gasibu field locatedin the front of gedung sate and connected with Monumen Perjuangan Rakyat Jawa Barat in the far north.

Around Viaduct and Taman Balaikota Area

The upper part of the 1930 picture shows the railroad clearly, crossed by the northern part of the Bragaweg. North of this crossing one should see the white buildings of the residence office, the Bank of Java (now Bank Indonesia building), and the Church of Bethel, and the Parc of Pieter Sythof (Taman Balaikota / Taman Merdeka) on the right. Between this Park oand the Cathedral Church is the Schoolroad (now it is the part of Merdeka Street). The name for the School is the Ursulinen Sisters (now St Angela High School), see the high, white building upper right, and the Dutch-Native Training-college for teachers next to it. Along the northern part of the Bragaweg, on the left, old low buildings mostly are being replaced by modern European shops, with multiple floors. Notice the building with the flat roof of the Dutch Indies Gas Company. In the middle of the picture are along the diagonal Oude Hospitaalroad (Lembong Street) the telephone office and the radio-telephone office, in an L-shape. In the new satellite pictures below, the dense of Bandung City shown, and in the middle of Bragawen (Jalan Braga) we can see one skyscraper, Aston Appartment (Braga City Walk). In the far north of the Parc of Pieter Sythof (Taman Balaikota / Taman Merdeka), located Bandung Indah Plaza (BIP), one of the big and famous mall in Bandung. In the west, we can view Viaduct intersection more clearly.

Around Taman Lalulintas and Jarbeeurs Area

This is the comparison between 1920's air view picture and current view around Taman Lalu lintas area. The KNIL (Dutch Army) War Department building, right from the middle, is the one that catches attention, in the Kalimantan Street. On the left the Palace of the Army commandant (in the Aceh street) and the Molukkenpark (Taman Maluku), and the HBS (now it is SMA 3 and 5 Building) on the right of Bilitonstraat (Belitung Street). In the front of the War Department is the Insulindepark, surrounded by all kinds of building and houses of KNIL officers. Behind the War Department are buildings of the the Jaarbeurs, first built in 1920.At the background, in the left corner is the Department of Government buildings, betterknown as Gedung Sate. In the new satellite picture, we can see that Isulindepark already become Taman Lalulintas with the green of the dense trees. Down left in the picture is the intersection between Aceh Street and Merdeka Street (BIP), and The tower of Hyatt Regency Hotel is shown clearly.

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Friday, September 4, 2009


Pasar Kota Kembang, a narrow lane with shops and stalls lining along it, could be a perfect place for bargaining cheap clothes, belts, shoes or handbags. Next to it is a shopping center specializing in textiles. This market lane connects Jl. Asia-Afrika with Jl. Dalem Kaum.

The first market in Bandung located in Kampung Ciguriang, behind Kapatihan was built in 1812. In the middle of l9th century, the market caught on fire. Later,the merchants gathered around Chinatown and established a new market, Pasar Baru. Once it was a beautiful place surrounded by Chinese-Dutch style shops . Now, only a few are left. Nevertheless, it's still the hub of commerce in Bandung. Plenty of textiles, batiks and clothes in cheap and moderate prices are available. You can test your bargaining skill here. A vegetable market is in the basement. Go to Jl. Pasar Utara. A row of stalls sell all sort of snacks, most of them Bandung specialties. You're welcome to have a taste before you buy the snacks. Jalan Pasar Selatan is lined with jeans shops trying to copy the ones in Jl. Cihampelas. Some of these shops are old ones. With the permission of the owner, old building enthusiasts could enter the old shop and take photographs.

Pasar Jatayu, on Jalan Arjuna, is a flea market mixed with motorbike parts shops. After jostling around, you'll find two antique shops in the dark and crammed market. You'll feel like finding a treasure island. Nearby is a row of shops selling military paraphernalia, and the Ciroyom terminal is next to them.

These three markets will be a nightmare for a claustrophobic. Known as The 'Flower City', Bandung certainly has a flower market, located on Jl. Wastukencana. The flowers are supplied from cool uplands that surround Bandung. Nice place to refresh your eyes.

The rather bizarre 'Jean Street', on Jl. Cihampelas, offers all sorts of jeans and T-shirts while offering fantastic shopfronts to view. The shop owners vie for the most elaborate shopfront design in an attempt to lure business.

Shopping centers are in abundance. The Alun-alun area is surrounded by shopping centers, particularly in Jl. Dalem Kaum. Bandung Indah Plaza is the most luxurious shopping center in Bandung. Nearby City Hall in Jl. Merdeka, it is a new favorite place for the young.

On Jalan Braga, you could find souvenir and antique shops, such as Sin Sin established in 1943. Leather shoes and garment at Leather Palace. Snake skin bags, shoes and all sort of suitcases at Cuero. Bookshops in Braga offer a great range of English books and magazines.


By Air
Husein Sastranegara domestic airport Iinks Bandung with Jakarta and most major cities in Java. Services are provided by Merpati Sempati and Bouraq.

Merpati Nusantara Airlines (about 40 minutes)
Monday - Saturday 9 times flight :
at 7.00 am, 8.00 am, 10.00 am, 12.00 noon, 1.00 pm, 3.00 pm, 4.00 pm, 5.00 pm.
Special for Sunday 7 times flight:
7.00 am, 8.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 noon, 2.00 pm, 3.00 pm, 5.00 pm.
Price :
Executive : Rp. 90.700,-
Business : Rp. 87.500,-
Economy : Rp. 65.000,-

Sempati Air
8.00 am - 8.50 am, 16.15 pm - 17.05 pm.
Price : : Rp. 65.400,

By TrainThe best way to get to Bandung from Jakarta is by train, taking the beautiful scenery enroute. Regular departures leave Jakarta's Gambir station. The executive class is recommended. The trip takes around three hours. From Bandung trains also travel to Yogyakarta

Parahyangan Train (it takes about 3 hours)
Everyday :Departure at 5.05 am, 5.30 am, 7.30 am, 8.30 am, 9.30 am,10.30 am, 11.30 am, 12.30 pm, 13.30 pm, 14.30 am,15.30 pm, 16.30 pm, 17.30 pm, 18.30 pm, 19.30 pm,20.30 pm, 21.30 pm.
Price :
Executive : Rp. 26.500,-
Business : Rp. 15.000,-

Argo Gede Train

Everyday :
Departure at 9.00 am - 11.20 am, 18.00 pm - 20.20 pm.
Price : Rp. 33.000,

By Car
The best way to get around Bandung is by taxi or minibus hired via your hotel . The city center can be comfortably discovered on foot Jakarta - Bandung via Puncak Rp. 6.500,-- Jakarta - Bandung via Cikampek / Subang Rp. 6.500,-