Green Spaces in Jakarta #5 – Taman Proklamasi


The end of the academic year is drawing to a close which means that for many in Jakarta (and elsewhere in the northern hemisphere), school holidays are on the doorstep. Certainly for both Liz and I, our attention has begun to shift to our holiday plans, in particular how we will keep our children entertained for an unusually long period (almost 8 weeks.. eeek!). Likewise, it is often during this time that we receive visitors to Jakarta, which has prompted today’s blog post. 

On 17 August 1945 first president of the Republic of Indonesia, Sukarno declared the Independence of Indonesia, “Kemerdekaan Indonesia”. Today we explore the actual site where this momentous event took place.

Located in the historic suburb of Menteng in Central Jakarta, Taman Proklamasi (also known as Taman Proklamator), is definitely worth a visit – and it just happens to be surrounded by other excellent places of interest (a real bonus!).

So be sure to wear comfy clothing, pack your drink bottles and head to Menteng for a fun and informative day out. And for more ideas on What to do in the Menteng Area, read to the end of this post!

Taman Proklamasi
Jl. Proklamasi No.56
Menteng
Kota Jakarta Pusat

Opening hours: 8am – 9pm,  7 days a week

About Taman Proklamasi

Located in Central Jakarta, Taman Proklamasi (Proclamation Park) is the former property of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno (affectionately known as ‘Bung Karno’). It was on the porch of his house, (although now demolished), that Sukarno read the Proclamation of Indonesian Independence on 17 August 1945. From that day onwards, the house became known as ‘Gedung Proklamasi’ (the Proclamation Building).

Taman Proklamasi is home to three significant monuments – 

Tugu Petir (The Lightning Monument) stands 17 metres tall. At its peak is a lightning bolt. This monument marks the exact spot where Sukarno stood whilst reading the Proclamation of Independence. At the base, written in Bahasa Indonesia are the words, ‘Disinilah Dibatjakan Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia pada tanggal 17 Agustus 1945 djam 10.00 pagi oleh Bung Karno dan Bung Hatta’ (This is where the Proclamation of Independence was announced on 17 August 1945 at 10am by Bung Karno and Bung Hatta).

Interestingly, initial plans were for the Proclamation of Independence to be delivered at what is now known as Merdeka Square, the current site of the national monument ‘MONAS’ (5km from Taman Proklamasi). However, on the grounds of security, the historic event was moved to Sukarno’s residence.

‘Tugu Petir’ monument
The site of the Proclamation of Independence of Indonesia on 17 August 1945

The Memorial Satoe Tahoen Repoeblik Indonesia (One Year Anniversary of Indonesian Republic) was the first monument to be erected in Taman Proklamasi. Inaugurated on 17 August 1946, the memorial is in the shape of a small obelisk. It bears the inscription which translates as, “With the efforts of the women of Jakarta” as this monument was initiated by several significant women of Indonesia. This memorial is also known as “Tugu Proklamasi.” 

Tugu Proklamasi was the first monument to be built at Taman Proklamasi and was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir on 17 August 1946
The plaque on the obelisk monument

Monumen Pahlawan Proklamator Sukarno-Hatta (The monument of the Proclamator heroes Sukarno and Hatta)
Standing proudly in the main square of the park is this most impressive monument. Inaugurated in 1980 by President Soeharto, the bronze statues of Sukarno and the then Vice-President Hatta standing side by side, are over 4.5 metres tall. Each weighing more than 1200 kilograms, the posture of the figures is accurate with photographic documentation of the Proclamation speech. Erected behind the statues are 17 pillars which represent the date of the Proclamation.

Monumen Pahlawan Proklamator Sukarno-Hatta. Inaugurated in 1980 this bronze and stone monument stands at the centre of Taman Proklamasi
‘Bung Karno’ reading the Proclamation of Independence
‘Bung Mohammad Hatta’ was Vice President at the time of Independence and was in office from 1945 – 1956
The bronze stone tablet at the base of the monument which depicts the manuscript of the Proclamation of Independence

The Gardens/Green Areas

Throughout the gardens you will find signs written in Bahasa Indonesia which translate as, ’Keep off the grass’. Therefore it is best to restrict ball games or any physical play to the large paved areas. 

Neatly kept gardens surrounding the monuments. Winding through the gardens are paths which are suitable for a stroll or perhaps a bike ride..
“Thank you for not stepping on the grass”

The Open Paved Spaces

Public spaces are a rare thing in this city which is home to over 10 million people, so the idea of riding skateboards, roller skates, scooters or even bikes so freely, is a delight! 

Children regularly play football (soccer) here as well. On weekends, this park is especially busy so try to plan your trip during the week when you can potentially have the park (almost) all to yourself – like I did! 🙂

Vast open spaces like this one are a rarity in Jakarta so on the day I visited (it was a Tuesday), it was particularly remarkable to find it almost empty. On weekends, the story is very different as people make the most of this space for recreation
Take a stroll around Taman Proklamasi and soak up the history of the area

On the day I visited

I was greeted by one of the garden caretakers who was keen to walk with me and explain the significance of each monument. He spoke mostly Bahasa Indonesia and I although I gained a fair understanding – to build on this, I sought the help of Google once I returned to my car!

I particularly love this sign at the entrance. It roughly translates as, “Culture” – “Greetings”, “Say hello”, “Smile”, “Polite” and “Courteous”

Nearby Taman Proklamasi you will find..

Jl Surabaya – Jakarta’s Antique and bric-a-brac market which runs along the length of this road.

Giyanti Coffee Roastery (closed Mondays) – Definitely some of Jakarta’s best coffee!

Chicory Patisserie for lunch – Delicious French-inspired cafe 

And known for its green spaces, Menteng has a further two parks which we recommend you visit: Taman Suropati and Taman Menteng.

Thank you for joining us with today’s blog post. In fact this is our final post for a couple on months whilst we take a break with our families. 

If you happen to be travelling this holiday season, we wish you safe & exciting adventures. See you when we return – but in the meantime, keep up to date with our journeys on Instagram. We’d love to share our holiday adventures with you 🙂

Best wishes always,

Jo & Liz x

Ps: Looking for other ‘itinerary ideas’ for this holiday period? We recommend the following posts:

Visitor’s Edition #1 – Family Visiting with Young Children
Visitor’s Edition #2 – ajb’s General Guide for Visitors to Jakarta
Hail the Bajaj – a most unexpectedly fun adventure!

* Taman – park
* Tugu – monument

Words: Jo Stevens Photography: A Journey Bespoke

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