The Bengkulu Museum : The City’s History And Culture

The Museum of a city is most often an inextricable part of the city’s history and culture. As a province and city once colonized by the British, Bengkulu holds the heritage of various cultures and nations combined in one place. Here in The Bengkulu Museum, we find a vast collection of objects, images, audios and ancient texts. Each, a timeless piece of eras gone by; a preserved moment from a fascinating history; a story of a time long since passed.

Ancient Sanskrit manuscripts from pre-colonial times, Bengkulu’s unique Bersurek cloths with their Arabic calligraphy motifs, and artifacts of the time when Bengkulu was a British colony, can be found here.

The Bengkulu Museum was first founded in 1978, though it only became fully functional in 1980. It was originally housed in what was once Fort Marlborough, a fort built by the British in the early 18th century. Three years later, the museum was moved to a new building that was considered to be more efficient and better located.

The Bengkulu Museum
The Bengkulu Museum (Source :

Occupying an area of nearly 10,000 square meters, the museum currently consists of two main exhibition halls; the permanent exhibition and the temporary exhibition. The two galleries are dedicated to a collection of over 6,200 relics which are classed into 10 different categories. These include geology, biology, ethnography, history, technology, fine arts and more. Nearly half of this collection is classified under the ethnography category, which is to say, the study of culture. These cultural artifacts are objects of everyday life, such as traditional woven fabrics, ceremonial items and weapons. Some of these are still manufactured today, while others are obsolete and are no longer in use.

The museum is open to the public from Tuesday till Sunday at 08:00 until 13:00.

It is closed on Monday.

The Museum of Bengkulu Province
Jalan Pembangunan No. 8, Padang Harapan – Kecamatan Gading Cempaka, Bengkulu 38223


Hotel Santika is located in the Sawah Lebar District, an ideal location for visiting the city’s other attractions of Soekarno’s home, Marlborough Fort and Bengkulu’s beautiful Panjang Beach. Smoking and non-smoking rooms are available, each including the usual amenities. Hotel facilities include an indoor swimming pool, a ballroom with a 500 person capacity, Fitness center, Restaurant and Spa.

Address: Jalan Raya Jati No. 45, Sawah Lebar, Bengkulu

Splash Hotel is Bengkulu’s leading business hotel. It is ideally located just 6 km from Fatmawati airport, and is close to select destinations throughout the city. Facilities include a restaurant, lounge, business center, meeting rooms and hotspots around the hotel.

Address: Jl. Sudirman No. 48 Bengkulu Indonesia

Grage Horizon Hotel is located beside Long Beach, just 20 minutes from the airport and close to the city center, making it ideal for both business and leisure visitors. Grage hotel comprises of 58 rooms of 6 different types to suit your varying needs. Hotel facilities include a restaurant, swimming pool, meeting room and ballroom.

Address: Jalan Pantai Nala 142 Anggut Bawah Bengkulu-Indonesia

The Bengkulu Museum is a place to maintain and preserve objects of cultural importance and functions as a building for study, research and even entertainment. Visiting the museum is like taking a step into the past, observing items that tell about history, culture and life from times passed. Here are some of the things that are found in the Bengkulu Museum.

A total of 126 ancient Sanskrit manuscripts by unknown authors are among the many fascinating items contained in the museum’s collection. Ten of these have been successfully translated into the Indonesian language. The manuscripts date back hundreds of years and comprise of various elements of writing ranging from poetry to history.

A collection of woven fabrics also make up a large part of the museum, namely the Bengkulu Bersurek, a traditional hand-painted textile of Bengkulu Province. Kain Bersurek is an integral part of the current Bengkulu culture. The fabric is patterned with designs of Arabic calligraphy, but in such a way that the words cannot be read. Bridal wear, ceremonial clothing, and traditional dress are also among the fabrics. Also in the ethnography category are various antique household items as well as traditional weapons.

An old printing press from the “Golden Press” company is one of the highlights of the museum. This machine was once used by the Indonesian government for the printing of money. It is also an interesting and memorable item considering the money that was printed here: Oeang Republik Indonesia, or ORI, which was the legal tender in that day. The printing press was made in the United States and is said to be dated to the 1930s.

The collection of items contained in the museum are divided into 10 categories as such:

  • Geology / Geography: includes rocks, minerals and other natural formations.
  • Biology: all items related to biology.
  • Ethnography: cultural objects and devices that were used in the past, some of which are still in use now.
  • Archaeology: ancient and prehistoric relics which have been found in excavation.
  • History: objects related to historical events, or items that were used by famous historical figures.
  • Numismatics: a collection of various currencies and forms of legal tender. This also includes medals, emblems and other authorized insignia from that time.
  • Ceramics: various objects made from clay.
  • Phylogenics: closely related to geology, also containing natural elements such as rocks and minerals.
  • Fine arts: objects of high artistic value such as paintings.
  • Technology: objects depicting the development of ancient technology to modern.


Fatmawati Airport in Bengkulu is a domestic airport, serving only Jakarta and Batam.

The Bengkulu Museum is easily accessible to all visitors via rental car or public transport. It is located just 9 kilometers from the airport, 19 kilometers from the port, or 3 kilometers from the bus terminal.


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