I left school children crowd from East Java who enjoying their religious tour in Grand Mosque of Central Java courtyard. Those teenager looked very happy running around courtyard, neatly lined up and taking pictures with the impressive worship site as the background, some even rolled at will in courtyard.
Black Honda Jazz (Jazz is a brand of Honda in Indonesia) picked me up based on online taxi application. After driver confirmed the destination and I said yes, that black hatchback hurtled towards Tanjung Emas.
“That place is beautiful. Mr Donny has to go around there!“, driver explained ins and outs of Old Town in detail like a tourist ambassador for Atlas City.
“Wow, that’s great, Sir“, I said, hoping to make him proud.
“It’s been renovated on a large scale with cost of over USD 11 million, Sir. Perfect for hanging out and hunting for photos“, he continued to explain.
Hatchback which I was riding finally gently stopped in the parking slot.
Didn’t feel long in driving, I arrived. I have to prepare in advance, before all guests arrived. Tonight I will treat all company important colleagues at Ikan Bakar Cianjur Restaurant. Entering the former colonial-era courthouse, a waiter quickly caught my intention by directing me to a seat which was sufficient to accommodate number of guests who were counted.
The restaurant room which followed original function of the building….Many rooms, each room was filled by rows of teak dining tables or teak-framed glass tables. Meanwhile, typical Betawi chairs were neatly lined up, while square windows were soaring to ceiling with trellises which have frame in mini square shape. You could see room decoration in the form of a souvenir cupboard which made from teak wood and rooms were cooled by several large fans.
As a result, dinner was finished at the same time as a credit card swipe in value about USD 150. I lightly drew the credit card because everything would be reimbursed to my office.
Saying goodbye, colleagues came back to rest and would continue training on next day. Meanwhile, I still had time to go further around Old Town. It wouldn’t be entirely explored, because 31 acres took all day to explore it.
Thank you Tumenggung Trunojoyo….
Because of your rebellion to Mataram Kingdom, Semarang City became a coastal city which exporting sugar and spices to Europe in the 19th century. Bringing Renaissance architecture to Semarang, vintage, stained glass, unique roof shape, basement, large windows and doors. And I was stepping foot in it …. Now I’m enjoying the Old Town complex under dim moonlight.
I started to enter Letjen Suprapto Street. The appearance of an old church with twin tower and with a large wall clock on each tower and a large red brick dome roof, made this building architecture was similar with a combination of two types of worship place, i.e a mosque and a church. The church which is more than 250 years old was now called Gereja Protestan Indonesia Barat Immanuel. The original name of the church itself was Nederlandsch Indische Kerk.
While across street from Blenduk Church, lied Jiwasraya building, which was Letter-L shape, 104 years old, and was splashed with alternating red-green-blue light spectrum. It was ex-Nederlandsch Indische Level Sverzeking De Lifrente Maatschaapij (NILLMI), arguably as the main Dutch insurance business in past time. Also functioned as City Hall during Dutch colonialism era.
Meanwhile, to east of Blenduk church, right at an intersection, lied a Bar and Bistro which have a name of Spiegel. A two-story rectangular building with a door in one corner. This classic building date from the end of 19th century (125 years). In Spanish Colonial style, a former building of Winkel Maatschappij H Spiegel company showed a business struggle of Mr. H. Spiegel who initially only worked as a company manager, then became the owner of company which he led.
The last part which I visited was Srigunting Park. A garden with four large trees at each end of the garden and hanging decorative lights along its branches. Making the situation was so romantic for young couples who were in love, or for small families with their children or also for single people who wanted to find their soul mate.
Time to go back to the hotel and rest in preparation for the second day training tomorrow ……