NATIONAL MUSEUM (GEDUNG GAJAH)
Petit Futé's opinion on NATIONAL MUSEUM (GEDUNG GAJAH)
Once a seat of the Dutch Dutch Dutch Dutch Arts Society (Bataviaasche Genootschap), the museum officially opened in 1868, and is known as Gedung Gajah (Elephant House) in reference to the bronze statue in front of the museum, given by King Chulalongkorn of Thailand in 1871. The original purpose of the institution was to promote research primarily in the field of history, archeology, ethnology and physics. Indonesia's cultural diversity and history is one of the richest in South-East Asia. The museum has a collection of 61,600 prehistoric and anthropological objects, and 5,000 archeological objects from all over Indonesia and Asia. Unfortunately, parts are not always indicated. Here are some benchmarks:
The House of Treasures. The room has treasures acquired from various Indonesian kingdoms, various Istanas, Kratons and temples of the Indonesian archipelago. Coins shall be arranged by islands: Sumatra, Java, Bali, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Eastern Indonesia (Nusa Tenggara, Maluku and Papua). There are various royal precious objects such as jewels and gold weapons and precious stones. There are also collections of gilded Balinese kriss, golden gold crowns, golden throne, golden gold badges, swords and even a gold shield.
The collection of ceramics. The collection includes ceramics from the Majapahit Empire, but also from China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Burma. Chinese ceramics dating from two millennia provide a good overview of Indonesia's maritime trade over the centuries. The Chinese sailed to India via Indonesia from the Western Han (205 BC to 220 BC) as part of the road to sea silk.
The ethnographic collection. The ethnographic collection includes a wide variety of objects that are part of Indonesian daily life and other parts used in ceremonies and rituals. The collections are classified according to geographical locations of each of the regions and islands of the Indonesian archipelago: Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Bali, Small Islands of the Sonde (Nusa Tenggara), Sulawesi, Maluku, and Papua. Examples of ancient cultures include Nias and Batak in Sumatra, the Baduis in Java, the Balinese, the Dayak of Kalimantan, the Toraji of Sulawesi, and the Asmats and Danis of Papua. These people's lifestyles have remained unchanged for centuries. They still practice traditional customs (adat) to determine their day-to-day activities and ceremonies.
The prehistoric collection. Artifacts are found in stone age, such as fossil skulls and homo erectus skeletons, Homo floresiensis, Homo sapiens, stone tools, menhirs, pearls, stone axes, and bronze axes.
The relics collection. There are old relics of colonial Indonesia, from the time of the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) in Dutch Eastern India. Most pieces are ancient colonial furniture. However, most collections have been moved to the Museum of the History of Jakarta, which mostly presents the history of Jakarta in particular the colonial history of Batavia (the former Jakarta).
Please note: part of the old wing of the museum will be closed and should reopen in 2019.
Information on NATIONAL MUSEUM (GEDUNG GAJAH)
Admission 12,000 RP. Open from 8.30am to 2.30pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, 8.30am at 11.30am Friday, and 8.30am at 1.30pm Saturday. Guided tours in French on request. Guide (delivers) descriptive museum with 70,000 RP.