Monday, June 25, 2007

Monas Monument, Jakarta Indonesia

We had a great time climbing the National monument- "The Monas Monument". The pollution was particularly bad on the day so the view wasn't as good as could be. We walked through Medan Merdeka Park (and ran into Georgia's tae kwondo teacher) and saw lots of families flying kites.
We eventually worked out where to enter and I paid our 60 000rp entrance fee. Yadi, our driver came with us, I don't think he had ever been here before. We walked around the base and went inside to the independence museum. An enterprising "guide" approached us and offered us a tour.....for a price. In hindsight I think I have just joined in the bribery/corruption life style of Jakarta.
We were asked if we had made a booking for a private tour and if not he could backdate a tour and take us around for the standard fee of 350 000rp ($50 aust.) It was very hot and humid, the queue to get the lift to the top was at least four hours long so I paid. It was worth it, the guy spoke excellent English and pointed out all the landmarks for us, and being able to bypass the queue was magnificent.
At the top of the monument we were all far more interesting than the view.
A women kept standing really close to the back of me and leaning against me, I soon worked out it was because I was holding Ben and he was facing that way. Hoards (I kid you not!) were following us around sticking cameras at us or mobile phones if they didn't have a camera.
In the end we just had to stand still and do group shots while every one had a turn posing with us!
This was my Hollywood/paparazzi moment LOL.
It was too much for Georgia, she started to look a bit thunderous after a while. I asked her to smile and just get it over with and she got the funniest faces, a scowl and a smile! The other people thought it was hilarious when I started to take photos of them taking photos of us.

Next time we visit I will make sure that it is not a Sunday and not a day where a marathon and a giant expo event are running beside.

Click on the photos to see a larger shot with comments

This is all the info I find on Google which I have cut and pasted. Some of the links got lost and of course I can't find them again, so please forgive a little plagiarism.

Standing at 132 meters and topped with 35 kilograms of gold, this imposing obelisk is Jakarta's most famous landmark. Construction started in 1961 under President Soekarno but was not completed until 1975, under President Soeharto.

The Freedom Hall depicts Indonesia's struggle for independence through a series of dioramas, whereas the Hall of Contemplation displays the original Declaration of Independence document and a recording of the speech.

An elevator takes you to the observation platform, which has a bird's-eye view of the cityscape.

The form of the Monas Monument was carefully thought out by President Soekarno and his followers. The Monument was built to symbolise the spirit of the Indonesian people as well as mark the independence of the nation.
Situated in the centre of Medan Mederka (Freedom Square) the Monas Monument is the landmark most associated with Jakarta. Medan Mederka was once the Dutch Military training ground in the city until Indonesia proclaimed independence.
The monument stands in the shape of an “Alu” or rice pestle on top of a cup form-like “Lumpang” or mortar. This shape symbolises eternal life as well as signifying the struggle for independence and the pride and nobility of the resulting victory to stand alone as a nation.

The flame at the top of the Monument symbolises the spirit of an independent Indonesian nation.

The building specifications of the Monas Monument deliberately focus on the date which President Soekarno proclaimed independence for Indonesia – 17th of August 1945. Therefore, most of the measurements of the monument and the associated buildings have the numbers 17, 8 and 45 associated with them.

- The interior of the Museum hall in the basement is 8-metres high and the main hall measures 80metres x 80metres.

- The base of the monument in the shape of the rice mortar is 45x45 metres wide.


Laurel Wreath said...

Well now that you are famous can I have your signature =))) Great pictures, thanks for sharing them.

Anonymous said...

Great story. I came from Jakarta, and have only been to Monas twice before 1986. Now I live in NZ and I sorely miss home. Reading your story brings back memories :)