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Monas, The Historical Monument

In Indonesia, the national monument named Monas (Monumen Nasional) or Tugu (tower) Monas. It is located in central Jakarta, at the north of Lapangan Medan Merdeka. The monument was built in President Soekarno era, start to build in August 1959 by architect Soedarsono and Frederich Silaban with Rooseno as a consultant until officially finished in 17 August 1961. It starts officially opened for public in 12 July 1975 by President Soeharto. It was built as symbolize of the fight for Indonesia’s independence. Monas square formerly named Lapangan Gambir, Lapangan Ikada, Lapangan Merdeka, Lapangan Monas and currently named Taman Monas and occupied 80 hectare area.

National Monument Monas. Merdeka Square, Jakarta
National Monument Monas. Merdeka Square, Jakarta (Source : youtube.com)

The monument design is based on Lingga-Yoni, the symbol of fertility in ancient Hindu-Javanese belief. The square Cawan (saucer formed) is the Yoni (feminine) part, while the towering obelisk is the Lingga (masculine) part. The monument body was constructed by concrete and steel with Italian marble covered outer layer.

The Monas obelisk tower is 433 ft (132 m) tall. The square Cawan (saucer formed) is 17 m (56 ft) tall from the ground and the wide of square ground is 45 x 45 m (148 x 148 ft). The history museum room is 80 x 80 m (260 x 260 ft). The number 17, 8 and 45 are representing the independence day of Indonesia which 17 August 1945. At the top of the monument there is a top square 11 x 11 m (36 x 36 ft) wide area. If the sky is clear, here you can see around Jakarta city from the distance, on the southern you can see Mount Salak (Bogor residence), on the northern you can see thousand islands in wide ocean and on the western you can see Soekarno-Hatta International airport. The Monas crowned with 6 m (20 ft) diameter 14.5 ton bronze shaped of flame and plated in 35 kg (1,125 troy ounces) of gold. The flame means “Api Nan Tak Kunjung Padam” (Eternal Flame), symbolizing the fighting spirit of Indonesian people is never end.

Prince Diponegoro Monument, Monas
Prince Diponegoro Monument, Monas (Source : wikimapia.org)

The entrance gate to Monas is at the north of Lapangan Medan Merdeka near Pangeran Diponegoro riding horse bronze statue. The statue is made by an Italian sculptor Prof. Coberlato and presented by Dr. Mario, General of Italy Consulate. From here you get through a tunnel under stone-pavement to the central part of the park.

Inside the square Cawan (saucer formed) there is Ruang Agung (grand hall) with black marble square walls, one of the walls carved golden gate that houses the text of Indonesian Proclamation of Independence in 1945 which opens several times in a day that displaying the text of National Declaration Independence of Indonesia with President Soekarno’s recorded voice reading the declaration as back sound. The other walls is displaying Garuda Pancasila (Coat of Arms of Indonesia), the map of Indonesian archipelago, the flag of Indonesia, and the flags of Indonesian provinces at the center of it. Inside the lower part of the hall is an exhibition hall with several dioramas showing the history of Indonesia.

How to get there?

Monas is located Lapangan Medan Merdeka and surrounded by Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara, Jalan Merdeka Selatan, Jalan Merdeka Timur and Jalan Merdeka Barat. The location is nearby President’s palace and American Embassy.

Public transportation

  • Trans Jakarta bus way Blok M – Kota
  • Ticket price : 3,500 IDR (2016)

Travel tips

  • Monas open every day from 9.00 am – 5.00 pm.
  • Entrance fee 7,500 IDR (2016)

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