Indonesia is the 4th most populated country in the world with more than 250.000.000 people --- There are 316 ethnic groups which speak 670 dialects in Indonesia --- There are 17.508 islands in Indonesia, which is the largest Archipelago in the world and only 6.000 of them have a name with only 1.000 are inhabited --- If you could spend only 1 day on each island of Indonesia, you would need 48 years to see all of them? (Transportation between islands not counted) --- Indonesia has the longest coastline in the world, with 100.000 kms long --- Indonesia is probably the last country in the world, which has still unexplored territories, and is not completly mapped? (specially around Irian Jaya) --- There are about 400 volcanoes in Indonesia, and 150 out of them are active, which represents 75% of all active volcano on the planet

16.1.09

Travelling to Jakarta - Jakarta Wonder No. 10

The Historical Sunda Kelapa Harbour
Text by Mirandhika Mirza Photos by Jan Dekker


Sunda Kelapa harbor (Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa) in North Jakarta is no ordinary port. With a land area of 760 hectares and docking waters of 16,470 hectares and comprising two main harbors and the Kalibaru Harbor, it is a place of great historic importance. It was the starting point of the city of Jakarta, which celebrates 22 June 1527 as the day of its founding.

Sunda Kelapa harbor was already well known as early as the 12th century. At that time, it was the most important port of the Sunda Kingdom, which had its capital at Pajajaran, and was a famous pepper port. Foreign ships, from China, Japan, South India and the Middle East stopped to do business with local traders. They brought exotic goods such as porcelain, coffee, silk, cloth, perfumes, horses, wine, and dyes to trade for spices.


When Islam and European explorers both came to the region, Sunda Kelapa became a venue of conflict between the kingdoms of the Archipelago and the Europeans. Eventually, the Netherlands took control of the harbor, and held on to it for over 300 years.

The conquerors changed the place names in and around Sunda Kelapa, but in the early 1970s the old name "Sunda Kelapa" was restored as the old port’s official title.

The Jakarta city government has made Sunda Kelapa harbor an important historical tourism destination. Not far from the harbor is Museum Bahari, the Maritime Museum, featuring Indonesia’s maritime history and relics from the Dutch colonial period.

To the south of the port, which is managed by state-owned port company PT Pelindo II, are the old shipyards and buildings of the Dutch East India Company (VOC), which have been renovated. Unfortunately, Sunda Kelapa harbor lies within the area of the 500-hectare coastal reclamation project that is planned to expand the multifunction Ancol Timur terminal.

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