Museum Nasional (Museum Gajah)

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Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No.12, Jakarta, Indonesia

Museum Nasional (Museum Gajah) Jakarta Reviews

cicie cicie
61 reviews
Images of Older Times – Visited One More Time ! Dec 27, 2013
I spent about three hours on Friday morning at the Museum Nasional, in Jakarta. It was a good time to visit as the museum was not crowded and walking was slower. The Museum Nasional is the pride of Indonesia’s history! Visiting the Museum Nasional provides insight into Indonesia's long, cultural heritage from prehistoric days to today.

The Museum Nasional is located on the side of Merdeka Square or Lapangan Merdeka and was built in 1862 by the Dutch colonial administration. The Colonial administration wanted to showcase the great treasures of Indonesian culture and the long history of Indonesia.

The Museum was officially opened in 1868 and became known as Gedung Gajah (Elephant House) or Gedung Arca (House of Statues). It was called Gedung Gajah on account of the bronze elephant statue in the front yard donated by King Chulalongkorn from Thailand in 1871. It was also called Gedung Arca because a great variety of statues from different periods on display. Recently expanded, the Museum houses an impressive collection of no less than 240.000 objects covering Indonesia's Prehistory, Archaeology, Numismatics-Heraldic, Ethnography, Geography and Historical Relics. With ten thousand of artifacts from all over Indonesia and Asia, Museum Nasional has the richest and most comprehensive collection on Indonesia's history.

The museum is housed in two buildings which are joined internally. The main entrance is in the original old section. Entering the museum, there are three main sections of the museum, first being the courtyard section with all the sculptures and artifacts from various parts and past of Indonesia. The various sculptures are made of stone. The largest ,in the statue garden, is a Nandiswara bovine (cow) statue.

There is a courtyard just behind the entrance full of stone artifacts. Most are from very interesting collections. It is a shame, but not all collections have descriptions / information for visitors.

There are some displays in the old building such as sculptures, textiles and potteries. Archeological collections are in the form of cultural objects from the era of Hinduism and Buddhism, which better known as the Indonesian classic era.

The second area is the ethnography section is the most interesting, offering glimpses of the various make-ups of indigenous Indonesia. There are numerous artifacts of weapons, musical instruments, clothes, tools, etc., from different ethnicities in Indonesia.

The last section of the museum is the newest part consisting of several smaller rooms of more recent Indonesia.

This is definitely a great place to spend a weekend, as admission is very inexpensive and it is easy to get the Museum Nasional. The Museum Nasional is not only a center for research and study into the national and cultural heritage of Indonesia, but it also functions as an educative, cultural and recreational information center. It’s unfortunate much of the presentation are crude and in need of updating. However, the Museum Nasional well worth seeing while you are in Jakarta.
12 / 12 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
halilee says:
Congrats on your featured review Cicie!! :D
Posted on: Feb 02, 2014
ilserita says:
Congrats!! :)
Posted on: Feb 02, 2014
vulindlela says:
Posted on: Feb 02, 2014
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yuness yuness
250 reviews
'Nice Museum & Must visit" Dec 05, 2013
National Museum is located at Jalan Merdeka Barat, Jakarta. or precisely located to the west of the monument Monas (National Monument) and is also often referred to as Museum Gajah, standing guard in front of this big white columed building are Huge bronze Elephants.

The Museum holds a massive collection of National history and is open daily (except Mondays and public holidays / religious). In addition to indoor galleries it also has an outdoor gardened gallery, souvenir shop and Cafe. The Gardened gallery is full of many old large Statues and wall Plaques.

With such a diverse number of collections, such as textiles, ceramics, jewellery and arts/crafts etc, the museum is not only a place to save these rare antiquities alone, but moreover they provide a visual historical record and an informative educational tool that young and old people can enjoy. With an entrance fee of IDR. 5.000 (for adults) and IDR. 3.000 (for the children) this place is an affordable way to spend a day out.

My review is shortened to respect of my friend ‘Cicie’ and her full review about this Museum.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
yuness says:
Thank you Jim...I think Cicie's review didnt need any addition, it's so nice all of its own :)
Posted on: Feb 09, 2014
yuness says:
@Hasan & Cho, you are welcome...Maybe one day these reviews help you...if you come to visit JAKARTA. :)
Posted on: Feb 09, 2014
rsvpme says:
Nice addition to the Cicie capture other parts .
Posted on: Feb 08, 2014

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photo by: cicie