Lost Jakarta Publishers.

Our first book is now available. 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA by Sven Verbeek Wolthuys is for those who love Jakarta’s history and are searching for its lost past. It describes the adventures and tragedies of a Dutch family in colonial Jakarta (Batavia), with emphasis on the family’s prominent and influential presence in Tanah Abang, the area of Batavia where they settled. 

stories that have never been told before.

Jakarta is changing at a fast pace and historic remnants are also rapidly disappearing. Since the late 1970s the appearance of Jakarta has undergone an unrecognizable metamorphosis following the mass demolition of colonial era architecture and Chinese style shophouses. It has sadly also led to a severe loss of character.

Consequently modern day residents and visitors have no idea how beautiful Jakarta once was, nor are they inspired or motivated to explore its history. Rules are often circumvented and protected architecture pulled down overnight under suspicious circumstances to make way for ugly concrete characterless dwellings. Or as the late doyen of Jakarta’s history, Father Adolf Heuken SJ (1929-2019), put it very strikingly in his masterpiece Historical Sites Of Jakarta (1982):

“What makes Jakarta special should be saved and looked after. Its few old and existing buildings full of charm and color should not fall victim to ‘developers’ who only care about a quick profit. Let’s not sacrifice what for the coming generations is a valuable asset!”

Lost Jakarta provides a peek into the history of Indonesia’s capital. Rare photos, forgotten stories, and precious audio and video. Explore our social media channels and read a sample of our new book 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA.

About

Lost Jakarta Publishers.

Lost Jakarta Publishers is a new and independent publishing company. We focus on the history of Indonesia, and in particular that of Jakarta and the islands of Java and Bali. We are also active on social media where we regularly post rare photos and forgotten stories about the history of Jakarta, as well as atmospheric videos from the era of the Dutch East Indies. Our aim is to ensure Jakarta’s rich history and architecture will not be forgotten.

Sven Verbeek Wolthuys is passionate about Jakarta’s history. This is not surprising as almost all of his ancestors were born in Indonesia or have lived there for a short or longer term. Sven’s great-x6-grandfather emigrated to Jakarta in 1776 (!), nearly 250 years ago.

Since he was a little boy Sven has been fascinated by the stories of his grandparents and aunts and uncles about their time in Indonesia. At high school he started to read Indies literature (think of Couperus, Daum, Multatuli and Szekely Lulofs), and as soon as he was old enough went to Jakarta to explore the traces his family left behind.

Sven decided to research his family’s history and that of the district of Tanah Abang (where the family owned a large estate for nearly a century). This research, over several decades, has resulted in the book 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA.

blogs/pictures/video’s.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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