news, videos, photos.

Sven Verbeek Wolthuys regularly posts about Jakarta’s history on social media. Forgotten pictures, stories and videos of a bygone city. Updates will appear first on the Lost Jakarta website. Here you will also find bonus material (audio and video) from the book 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA.

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scroll down to view our blog of historic Jakarta stories, pictures and videos

Pasar Baru at night 1941

Pasar Baru evening lights, 1941 An atmospheric picture of a cosy and bustling shopping street at night in a Jakarta that soon would be invaded by the Japanese. The photographer stands halfway Pasar Baru, looking in a southerly direction. On the right at number 69 the...

Jalan Teuku Umar 1920

The northern side of Jalan Teuku Umar (Boulevard Gondangdia) in 1920 Water spraying at the northern end of what was called Boulevard Gondangdia 100 years ago. We recognise the majestic premises of the building company N.V. De Bouwploeg (now the Cut Meutia mosque)...

Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan 1880s

Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan (Koningsplein Zuid) in the 1880s A peaceful view of the eastern entrance to Koningsplein Zuid (now Jalan Medan Merdeka Selatan). The photo, by an unknown photographer, was taken from the intersection with Koningsplein Oost (Jalan Medan...
Shades of BOPLO 1914-2020

Shades of BOPLO 1914-2020

The sign on the north side of the Cut Meutia mosque building in 2020 Since the completion of De Bouwploeg building in November 1913 at Entree Gondangdia (now Taman Cut Meutia) the company did not occupy the offices at all. Instead, it used a newly built villa at...

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De Bouwploeg 1914

De Bouwploeg 1914

De Bouwploeg building on Taman Cut Meutia in 1914 The company responsible for the development of the northeastern part of what is now Menteng, but at the time New Gondangdia, was called De Bouwploeg (literally translated: The Construction Crew) and established in...

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Assassination attempt Hotel Schomper 1941

Assassination attempt Hotel Schomper 1941

Newspaper snippets about the incident at Hotel Schomper in 1941 In the early hours of 21 June 1941 a shooting occurred at the well-known Hotel Schomper, at that time based at Menteng 31 (now Museum Gedung Joang '45). The hotel manager (not Mr. L.C. Schomper!) pointed...

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Hotel Schomper 1930-1942

Hotel Schomper 1930-1942

Hotel Schomper at Jalan Menteng Raya 31 and 32 Eight years after Hotel Schomper opened its doors on Menteng 32 (now Jalan Menteng Raya 56), it acquired the building on Menteng 31, on the opposite side of the road and about 200 metres further south. This building had...

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Hotel Schomper Jalan Menteng Raya

Hotel Schomper Jalan Menteng Raya

Hotel Schomper on Jalan Menteng Raya over the years We often walk past this 'colonial era' building on the corner of Jalan Menteng Raya (formerly Menteng or Oud Menteng) and Jalan Wahid Hasyim (formerly Oude Tamarindelaan) which now belongs to the Indonesian Ministry...

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Taman Cut Meutia 1941

Taman Cut Meutia 1941

Taman Cut Meutia (Van Heutszplein) in 1941 A rare view in colour of the eastern end of the Van Heutszplein (now Taman Cut Meutia) with the intersection at Tjikini (Cikini). At the end of this road it turns left into Menteng (Jalan Menteng Raya) and right into Tjikini...

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Taman Cut Meutia 1913

Taman Cut Meutia 1913

Taman Cut Meutia (Entree Gondangdia) in 1913 Construction of new houses in the district of New Gondangdia started off very slowly in the first three years. In 1911 16 houses were built, of which 11 on what is now Taman Cut Meutia (formerly Entree Gondangdia and from...

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Moojen’s houses in Kramat (6)

Moojen’s houses in Kramat (6)

Houses on Jalan Kramat 7 (Laan Wiechert) From 1947 onwards a number of houses on Laan Wiechert (now Jalan Kramat VII) were occupied by Moluccan/Maluku families. And even today there is a lively Moluccan community in the area. Following the events of Indonesia's...

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Moojen’s houses in Kramat (5)

Moojen’s houses in Kramat (5)

Jalan Kramat 5 (Kramatlaan) number 14 When researching the development of architect P.A.J. Moojen's houses in Kramat, there are unfortunately many gaps. Especially as over the years very few photos were taken. There is a decent series of pictures from 1912, taken just...

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Idul Fitri Tanah Abang Bukit 1970s

Idul Fitri Tanah Abang Bukit 1970s

Tanah Abang Bukit in 1900 (left) and in the 1970s (right) Since the publication of our book 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA we have been approached by many people from all over the world who, after reading the book, wanted to share their experiences and their childhood...

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Moojen’s houses in Kramat (4)

Moojen’s houses in Kramat (4)

The house of Herman Salomonson at Jalan Kramat 24 in 1924 One of the largest and most beautifully designed houses of architect P.A.J. Moojen in Kramat was the one on Kramatlaan 24 (now Jalan Kramat V 24). It was at the end of the street, close to the Ciliwung River,...

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Moojen’s houses in Kramat (3)

Moojen’s houses in Kramat (3)

The so-called 'Spookhuis' (Haunting House) in Kramat, ca 1912 None of the 22 two-storey houses on Kramatlaan (Jalan Kramat V) and Laan Wiechert (Jalan Kramat VII) were identical. They all had their own unique design, ornaments and fittings. The house on this photo is...

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Roemer Visscher Clubhouse 1930

Roemer Visscher Clubhouse 1930

The Roemer Visscher Clubhouse in the Batavia Botanical and Zoological Gardens, circa 1930 Strangely enough one of the most mysterious buildings of colonial Jakarta. This massive pavilion featured in the Batavia Botanical and Zoological Gardens in Cikini/Tjikini from...

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Moojen’s houses in Kramat (2)

Moojen’s houses in Kramat (2)

Houses on Jalan Kramat 5 (Kramatlaan) in 1912 and number 16 today The 22 two-storey houses designed by architect P.A.J. Moojen on Kramatlaan (Jalan Kramat V) and Laan Wiechert (Jalan Kramat VII) answered the need to tackle Batavia/Jakarta's housing shortage in 1909,...

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Moojen’s houses in Kramat (1)

Moojen’s houses in Kramat (1)

Houses on Jalan Kramat 7 (Laan Wiechtert) in 1912 (above) and now (under) Most meetings of the Batavia/Jakarta City Council between 1908 and 1911 were dominated by debates and decisions to tackle the city's severe housing shortage. A newspaper in January 1909...

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Taman Cut Meutia 1912

Taman Cut Meutia 1912

Taman Cut Meutia (Entree Gondangdia) in 1912 Newly built houses by De Bouwploeg on the southern side of the just constructed entrance to the new residential district of New Gondangdia (now Jalan Cut Meutia). These two-storey dwellings were located on the right side of...

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Taman Cut Meutia 1920

Taman Cut Meutia 1920

Taman Cut Meutia (Entree Gondangdia) in 1920 The Batavia/Jakarta City Council approved a plan in October 1910 to construct an entire new residential district on the grounds of the former lands 'Gondangdia' and 'Menteng'. This was urgent as the city suffered from a...

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Cikini Gondangdia intersection 1935

Cikini Gondangdia intersection 1935

The Cikini Gondangdia (Simpang Lima) intersection in 1935 Following the 1941 view of this 'simpang lima' intersection, which we published a few days ago, this time a lovely picture of the same crossing, from a slightly different angle though, from the mid 1930s. From...

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Cikini Gondangdia intersection 1941

Cikini Gondangdia intersection 1941

The intersection Simpang Lima at Cikini - Jalan R.P. Soeroso 1941 A unique view of a unique building that stood on this place until at least 1995. During a visit to Jakarta in 1995 I suffered from a tummy bug while staying in a guesthouse along Jalan Gondangdia Kecil....

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Prapatan electricity pole 1941-now

Prapatan electricity pole 1941-now

Prapatan electricity pole left (1941) and right (2020) Thanks to Marc Tierolf who attended us on the electricity pole at the bridge over the Ciliwung River near the Hotel Aryaduta in Prapatan. Despite a few new enforcements, new convectors and different warning signs,...

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Jalan Raden Saleh 1940-now

Jalan Raden Saleh 1940-now

Jalan Raden Saleh in 1940 (left) and 2020 (right) If you think our obsession for Jakarta's history has reached worrying levels, then you might be right. Who else in the world would get so utterly excited by discovering colonial era relics from the time Jakarta was...

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Bank Tabungan Negara 1980

Bank Tabungan Negara 1980

Bank Tabungan Negara (former Postspaarbank) at Jalan Gajah Mada 1980 Cars making a U-turn at the Harmoni intersection in front of the Bank Tabungan Negara 40 years ago. At that time the building was still in exactly its original state, before the newly built high rise...

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President Soekarno 1963

President Soekarno 1963

https://youtu.be/TuMquBUsG5Y President Soekarno in a Dutch interview at Istana Merdeka, 1963 A short but rare interview in Dutch, given by President Soekarno (1901-1970) to Dutch journalist Willem Oltmans (1925-2004) in Jakarta's Merdeka Palace in 1963. Oltmans, who...

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Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur 1930

Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur 1930

View of Gambir train station along Koningsplein Oost (Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur) in 1930 An early morning view of Koningsplein Oost (now Jalan Medan Merdeka Timur) of exactly 90 years ago, with train station Weltevreden (now Stasiun Gambir) on the right side of the...

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Jakarta in colour 1937

Jakarta in colour 1937

https://youtu.be/nfpffVFkUoU The very oldest pictures of Batavia/Jakarta in full colour date from 1937. James Anthony FitzPatrick's series "The Voice of the Globe", of which yesterday we posted footage from 1939, already pictured Java with a Technicolor camera in...

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Jakarta in colour 1939

Jakarta in colour 1939

https://youtu.be/nxQ4QFA0DEI Coloured footage of Batavia/Jakarta from before World War II is rare, very rare. American moviegoers could experience the world in colour in the late 1930s, thanks to James Anthony FitzPatrick (1894-1980) who travelled the world for his...

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Queen Juliana in Jakarta 1971

Queen Juliana in Jakarta 1971

https://youtu.be/Qa9wBhmODC4 Dutch King Willem Alexander is currently on a state visit in Indonesia. His grandmother Queen Juliana (1909-2004) was the first Dutch monarch to visit Indonesia, in August 1971. This after President Soeharto and his wife had visited the...

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Jakarta 1965

Jakarta 1965

A series of 18 unique pictures, showing Jakarta in November 1965. The photographs were taken by Co Rentmeester (1936- ), a professional Dutch rower who, after he joined the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, moved to the United States to study photography at the Art Center...

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Jalan Menteng Raya 27 now and then

Jalan Menteng Raya 27 now and then

Jalan Menteng Raya 27 in 1940 (above) and 2020 (under) The shape of this characteristic building on today's Jalan Menteng Raya is still very much recognisable, but an experienced eye will notice some alterations, most noticeably the removal of the lovely balcony on...

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Jalan Menteng Raya now and then

Jalan Menteng Raya now and then

Jalan Menteng Raya 11-13 in 1941 (above) and 2020 (under) A little gem in today's Jakarta is Jalan Menteng Raya, in colonial days just known as Menteng or Oud Menteng (Old Menteng). The percentage of heritage buildings that is still present today along this road is...

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