Kota Lama is one of the best photo hunting places in the city of Semarang. Its strategic location makes this place always crowded.
The average person who comes here is young people who are looking for the best photo spots to post on their social media. That is why it would be less like visiting Semarang without stopping by the Old City.
In one area of the old city there are many famous Semarang city icons such as Blenduk Church, cigarette factories, stations, etc. which have a distinctive European style in the past.
When tired of traveling or photo hunting there are several cafes and restaurants to reduce hunger. There is also a park next to the Blenduk Church area which is a hangout for tourists while enjoying an atmosphere like in 17th century Europe.
History of the Old City of Semarang, Central Java
The Old City of Semarang was built in the Dutch colonial period. On January 15, 1678 the Trunojoyo rebellion took place and the Dutch contributed greatly to Mataram for successfully failing it.
Mataram provided compensation for its services by surrendering the Java North Coast area to the VOC. The VOC built the city of Semarang and began by making Vijfhoek fortress.
This fort originally functioned as the home of the Dutch. Because of the increasing population of the Dutch finally the VOC decided to also build offices. The office was first placed east of Vijfhoek fortress.
This fort serves as the center of military activity. The shape of the fort is a pentagon. This fort has one gate on the south and 5 watch towers.
These towers have their own names such as Amsterdam, Raamsdonk, Zeeland, Utrecht, and Bunschoten. In 1731, the Dutch colonial government moved Chinese residents living in the area to the side of the Dutch residence complex.
This was done to make the colonial government’s supervision of Chinese citizens easier. The fort is not only a center for all military activities but also functions as a place for surveillance of all Chinese activities.
Everything went smoothly until finally there was a big event peristiwa Geger Pecinan ’in 1740-1743. This event made the VOC in power in the region
After successfully abating resistance, the Dutch colonial government immediately made fortification or fortification. Fortification was built around the Old City area.
However, in 1824 fortification was dismantled by the Dutch because it was felt to be out of tune with developments in the region.
Sri Gunting Park in the Middle of the Old City, Photo: kompas.com
The Dutch colonial government made street names in the Old City area of Semarang to commemorate the construction of the fort.
There are Westerwaalstraat, Zuiderwalstraat, Oosterwalstraat and Noorderwalstaat (Jalan Tembok Barat, Jalan Tembok Selatan, Jalan Tembok Timur, Jalan Tembok Utara).
Now the name of the streets has changed to Jalan Mpu Tantular, Jalan Kepodang, Jalan Cendrawasih, and Jalan Merak.
At that time around the 19-20 century, the Old City of Semarang was the center of trade. To protect residents and their regions, that is why the VOC built Vijhoek fortress.
The VOC also made connecting roads from 3 Vijhoek gates to facilitate transportation links in the area.
The main road is named Heeren Straat which is now Jalan Let Jen Soeprapto. The remains of the fortress that still exists today are the Berok Bridge, formerly called De Zuider Por.
Formerly the Old City area named Outstadt with an area of 31 hectares. From the geographical appearance, the Old City area looks separate from the surrounding area.
That’s the reason behind the nickname ‘Little Netherland’. This area is a witness to the history of the Dutch colonial period which ruled for more than two centuries and its location is directly adjacent to the central region of the economy.
Here there are approximately 50 vintage buildings that are still firmly standing up to the characteristics of European architecture. Judging from the shape, ornament and detail of the building, the nuances of Europe around the 17th century were thick.
This can be observed from the placement of colored glass, the unique shape of the roof, basement buildings, the size of windows and doors.
Road to the Old City of Semarang
If you want to go to the Old City of Semarang, you don’t need to worry because the strategic location can be reached from any direction.
For those of you who want to travel to the Old City can stay at Semarang Olympic Hotel, Imam Bonjol street 126 Semarang, with 46 Superior Twin Rooms, 22 Superior Double Rooms and 8 Double Twin Rooms that can accommodate up to 250 pax, front yard parking can accommodate 4 big buses at once.
Semarang Olympic Hotel is only 5 minutes from the Old City, 6 minutes to Lawang Sewu and 15 minutes to Sam Po Kong tour