Jl. Soegiyopranoto, Semarang, Indonesia
+62 24 3542015
Lawang Sewu Semarang Reviews
"The Haunted House of Lawang Sewu" May 10, 2013
Whilst staying in Semarang, I Just walked about 10 minutes from my hotel to Imam bonjol street. Where you will find the magnificent art deco building of Lawang sewu...to enter you must pay IDR 10.000 / person also IDR 50.000 for a guide. This building in Semarang, Central Java, was once the office of the Nederlands-Indische Maatschappij Spoorweg (NIS) or the Rail head office which is the forerunner of todays railway system in Indonesia. Lawang Sewu is located at the roundabout Tugu Muda formerly called Wilhelminaplein.
Building work was undertaken by the Dutch architect Prof. Jacob F. Klinkhamer and BJ Queendag and according to historical records was built in 1903 and was inaugurated on 1 July 1907. Local people call it Lawang Sewu (Thousand Doors). This is because the building looks to have many doors, this is the fact as these so called doors are actually tall windows and a 'thousand' is an exaggeration of just lots of doors. It is the fact that this building has a lot of height and width so it is easy to see why the windows are often mistaken as doors. Now as 'Lawang Sewu' is one of 102 ancient historic buildings in the city of Semarang, so it should be and has been protected.
Currently, the building is used occasionally as a tourist attraction with facilities such as historical heritage of ancient buildings and antique architects, with other rooms that can often be used for exhibitions or events. But this place according to the news will never be made into a hotel. One because of its protected status the other being that it is said to be HAUNTED... the location has been used as a set for a haunted horror film. The makers of the film titled it the same as the building's name...'LAWANG SEWU' made in 2007.
The layout of the building consists of one main house with 3 domes (one large and 2 small) and a warehouse of 2 floors, one being an underground basement room. The most interesting part for me is the stained glass dome located in the central part of the main house, the building is built by the architect in such a way as to face toward the sunrise.
Lawang Sewu entire structure is made without the use of a metal framework, just the use of brick, marble and wood. The marble was brought directly from Italy, where as the tiles are from Karangpilang Surabaya. At the time of the Dutch position, space per room is used for the railway crews. Today there Is an outside allocated special space for the placement of an old train engine, at the front edge of this building.
The underground buildings were built later in the years between 1916-1918. In the Dutch colonial period, this area was once used for water catchment. However, during the Japanese occupation the area was transformed and was used as prison cells divided into squat boxes that could be filled with up to 5 prisoners, then covered with iron bars. Also there is a gruesome area of execution for the beheading of prisoners, after which there is an area where they would gather the heads that have been cut off from the body, then throw them into the river knowing that they would float off passed local habitations thus sending out there warnings as to what would happen to the unruly.
Lawang sewu is known by locals to be haunted and supposedly decapitated creatures are often seen at night. This actually is an attraction to lots of Tourists both foreign and national for those who like an opportunity to challenge their nerves at a haunted mystical tour and maybe be witness to some ghostly sighting. Hmmm...just the image in my mind of this underground area...put me off going down there...let alone taking any such grisly tour.
Part of the All about "JAVA ISLAND",INDONESIA travel blog
Part of the list Java Island, Sight & Attraction
7 / 7 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!