Istana Bogor

Right in the heart of the currently known as Bogor city, a landmark of the city stands. The structure dominated with white color fills in some space of the total 28.4 hectare of land in the middle of the city. The building is one of the 6 Indonesian Presidential Palaces named as The Bogor Palace. It stands side by side with the Bogor Botanical Gardens.

You will not miss this and should not when you come to my city. It is one of the most important historical buildings not only for this rain city but also Indonesa. It has witnessed lots of things happened during the journey of our people , Indonesian as a nation. 

Originally, it was not built in 1745 as a palace. The chateau was set up just as a place for the high rank officials of Netherland East Hindie to escape from the crowd and noisy Batavia (currently known as Jakarta). It was only a three storey luxury mansion called as Buitenzorg or 'a peaceful place' or 'a place without worry'.

Istana BogorIt was established based on instruction of the at that time Governor General Gustaaf Willem Baron von Imhoff in 1745. The Baron , so amazed by the quietness of a new village , Bogor decided to make a place for his retreat from his busy time in Batavia. 

In between 1750-1754, it witnessed the war of Banten. The Islamic Sundanese Kingdom in Banten decided to lift arms against the Dutch Colonialist. As the result, the mansion was destructed and destroyed in many parts.Von Imhoff immediately repaired his "peaceful place".

When the throne of Netherland East Hindie Governor General was transferred to the famous (because of his cruelty) Herman Willem Daendels (1808-1811), the person that gave an order to set up De Grote Post Weg (The Great Post Way), the mansion was renovated and expanded. One part of the Post Way , now is called as Suryakencana Street that is right in front of the gate of Bogor Botanical Gardens.

Almost at the same time as the establishment of Bogor Botanical Gardens, the mansion was once again given another renovation. This time the Governor General Baron van der Capellen (1817-1826) instructed to set up a tower in the middle of the mansion.

In 1834 the now palace witnessed the anger of Mount Salak. The "Silver" Mount erupted and caused lots of destruction in Bogor. The palace suffered also the impact of the eruption. Many parts of the palace were destroyed.

Istana BogorIt took 10 years and two periods of Dutch Governor Generals (1851-1861) to get the mansion repaired. Actually we can say it was not repaired but newly built. The old structure was knocked down and in the same place the new building, the one that is now Bogor Palace was built. The construction of the Palace was at the same time as the establishment of the supporting building such as Binnenhoff Hotel (now known as Hotel Salak The Heritage). 

The Palace became a witness of changes of 44 Netherland Governor Generals of Indonesia during Dutch Colonialism and one United Kingdom's (Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles) during its 200 years history.In 1942, the hand of European was put away from the Palace by the coming Japanese Armed Forces in the year. The Palace was handed over to General Imamura of Japanese Army.

Eventually in 1949, the Palace was transferred to Republic of Indonesia government after the recognition of sovereignty. Since then the Palace was functioned as one of Presidential Palace of Indonesia.

However the history that was witnessed by the Bogor Palace didn't stop there. There were many other historical moments occurred in this place.

In 1954, it was used a place for a preparation of Asia Africa Conference which one year later took place in Bandung .

Istana Bogorin 1966, the Palace once again witnessed an important moment of the journey of Indonesia as a country. In this place, the letter known as "Supersemar" , the abbreviattion of Surat Perintah Sebelas Maret  (The Order of March the Eeleventh) was written here . It was the symbol of the power transition from Soekarno's regime to Soeharto's in Indonesia.

The latest one was as the host of the meeting of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 1994. The result of this was Bogor Goals. The Goals were to achieve the free and open trade and investment among APEC Members in 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies.

Now, I believe you can see why you should not miss to see this Palace when you are here. The Bogor Palace has witnessed a more than 250 years history. It has been on the hand of 4 countries. It has been a witness for many historical moments of this country and my city.

Istana Bogor
Furthermore, you may find the inside of the palace quite interesting to see. The Bogor Palace knowingly has inherited around 139 pieces of Ming Dynasty Ceramics collections. The chateau also keeps more than 500 pieces of Indonesian famous painters such as Basuki Abdullah, Sudjojono anda some overseas painters. Also there are a collection of more than 200 statues.

Even though the Bogor Palace is not open for public visit for all the time in a year, it can be visited by a special arrangement through the Tourism Department. The visitor (a group) can apply to the dept to get a permission of entry. Also it will welcome public to see some areas inside for few days at the anniversary of Bogor on June the 3rd every year.


- compiled from many sources
- the photographs were taken by Xperia M Camera

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