Sunday, August 18, 2019

10 Things You Need to Know About Istana Merdeka

Spectr News Theme Miranti Devina
19, August 2015

Maybe you are already familiar with this palace. Yup, it is the Indonesian palace, Istana Merdeka. It is usually used for national events and also being the residence of Indonesian President. Here are 10 things you need to know about Istana Merdeka. Check this out!

1. In colonialism era, this was where the Dutch General Governors lived. Built by General Governor J.W. Van Lansberge in 1873. This area has 2400 meters square of land.

2. Before President Joko Widodo, there were only two presidents who ever lived in Istana Merdeka, President Soekarno and President Gus Dur.

3. Istana Merdeka is also called Istana Presiden (the President’s Palace) and divided in two sides. The part of palace where facing Monas is used by the President for welcoming guest and any national events. While the part of palace where facing Jl. Veteran is the President’s palace.

4. This palace was also called Istana Gambir, because the plenty of gambir trees planted around it.

5. The name Istana Merdeka started to be known in public since the signature of Indonesian Union Republic recognition text by the Dutch Government on December 27th 1949. This event then followed by the raising of Indonesian flag ceremony on the palace garden. Many people who attended the ceremony exclaiming “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!” (merdeka: freedom). Then this was why the named Istana Gambir changed to Istana Merdeka.

6. In the palace complex, there is a big and tall tree named Ki Hujan. This tree is a big trembesi tree (rain tree) with the age of 144 years and successfully attracts many tourists. The age is even older than Istana Merdeka itself and been there since 1870. Uniquely, this tree was ever swept by puting beliung whirlwind and it did not collapse, still strong and sturdy. While the other trees fell apart.

7. One of the popular rooms in this palace is Jepara room. All the furniture inside came from Jepara. Usually, this room is used for welcoming guest and national events.

8. There is also special room to keep the original Indonesian flag sewed by Mrs. Fatmawati. The place is known a little bit spooky.

9. If you are interested to visit this palace, there are few things you should be aware of. First, don’t use slippers, T-shirt, and glasses while visiting here. Second, you are not allowed to bring smartphone nor camera. Third, when you go around the palace, you will be guided with the tour guide and also Indonesian National Army.

10. Besides being historical place and the President’s residence, Istana Merdeka also has some spooky stories which attract tourist. For example, one of the Gus Dur’s daughter, Yeni Wahid, ever experienced a dead television suddenly turned on by itself. And next to the President’s staff room, there was a room that always making sound of music played by someone while there’s nobody inside it. Even on one of the national events in SBY era, the big marble table suddenly cracked without even being touched. Those spooky incidents are the daily routines faced by the palace staff. How about you? Dare to visit this palace?


*Free entry charge

*Only by showing identity (KTP or SIM)

Miranti Devina
Miranti Devina