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“A place full of memories of the past”
Review of Fatahillah Square

Fatahillah Square
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Private Tour: The Old Batavia Trail from Jakarta
Ranked #17 of 276 things to do in Jakarta
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Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Fatahillah Square, also known as Old Batavia, is the historical district of Jakarta located in Kotas. During Dutch Colonial times in the 16th century, this was the heart of the walled city. Home to attractions such as the Jakarta History Museum and many colonial buildings, this area fills up with artisans, jugglers, and tourists on the weekends.
Reviewed 25 April 2013

like the one in the title, this place is a place full of memories when I was in high school. My friends and I often go to this place, even though we are very far from home here and had to use trains and buses to get to this place, but we did not care because memories for me to get in this place very much, such as we had to catch a train and be willing to crammed at Economic train hehehe collect our pocket money to go there and once it gets there we gather money together and buy a meal at the roadside there in the form of food wagon or tents and ate together nearly 6-9 people hahahaha and eat it in the street,take pictures together and laugh together at will,look around the building and laid in that place ...
and many more memories of me and my friends there, although sometimes we were crazy
but I really miss moments like that can happen again

and yesterday I had visited this place, but I feel something is missing there because there is no togetherness like that once again, and I feel lonely even in the place was very crowded, and when I walked in the street where I've sat down with my friend and eating together on the ground. I could just sit there and imagine someday we can come back to this place together

Meinzwesternfallen :)

Thank Evidy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 April 2013

Fatahillah Square for a very long time was once the heart of the Dutch East Indies & the centre of the world’s Spice Trade. Europeans couldn’t get enough of spicy peppers, so they sent warships, soldiers & Christians to enslave, conquer & kill anyone who stood in their way. Today Batavia’s old Town Square is one of the few open spaces in Jakarta where you can sit around & absorb the Dutch’s 400 year old legacy.

Brutally hot during the day with little shade & a broken water fountain that’s been dry for years, the atmosphere of Batavia’s Fatahillah Square changes to a more mellow mood at night, festive & alive, we found it relaxing in the afternoon to sit around watching the buskers singing for change & tasted the cheap local street food. There are trinket sellers & fortune tellers, ice-cream vendors & t-shirt peddlers, the old town square comes back to life once more.

Why would anybody want to come here to see some old crumbling buildings & a textile museum amongst others? The sex tourists are at Blok M, businessmen enjoying massages at Glodok & young tourists are at the mall eating McDonalds. Those with a bit of an appreciation for history could find Fatahillah Square much more interesting. Ceremonies, parades & executions, these European customs were performed on the far side of the world a long way from home, spiritually, Dutch people could probably appreciate being here more than any other.

As with many former colonies or conquered countries these are the Dutch legacies that survive long after the whip has stopped cracking. The European buildings are today silent bystanders, reminding todays generation of an age of power, grandeur & greed, ironically very little has changed today. Find a quiet spot, sit down & take off your shoes, it’s rare in Jakarta where you can sit around outside & not be mistaken for a beggar.

1  Thank The_Pale_Ridah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2013 via mobile

Got a lot of fun in here. There are many shops accesories, and street food. Felt like time warp in here. The cafe batavia had a great place to see old building around there

Thank Toni W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2013

There's literally garbage everywhere!! Poor maintenance. The kiosk around the area are expensive, unhygienic and dirty. it's so sad because it's a tourist destination.

Thank Shalita S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2013 via mobile

We got here at about 3ish on a Sunday afternoon & the place was full of activity: street performers, stalls & peddlers selling a variety of food, bicycles for rent &, naturally, people cycling around the square, locals who just came to hang out & some armed with cameras to take photos, tourists - bustling!

We'd just managed to grab some yummy fried tempe, sweet potato & tapioca to snack on & were making our way through the square when it began to rain. So, we ducked into Cafe Batavia at the opposite side of the square to have a proper meal, chill & wait for the rain to stop. I shant say much about Cafe Batavia here as I have written about it in a seperate review. I will, however, say that I'm glad we'd managed to get a table by the window upstairs that gave us a great view of the square & its happenings.

The rain had stopped by the time we'd finished at the cafe & the square was once again filled with people & abuzz with activities. Standing in front of the cafe, the Jakarta History Museum is directly across, while the Museum Wayang is to the right. Sadly, neither of these museum were open by the time we'd arrived. So, we just had to be contented with snapping photos of the facade of both the museums.

Truth be told, if you do not enjoy observing, people watching and/or snapping photos & if the museums are closed, then, there probably isn't a whole lot for you to do except go to Cafe Batavia for a meal/drink. Although this place may be listed as a tourist attraction, it is actually visited by more locals, comprising largely of youngsters who come here to hang out & also visit the street market beyond the square.

Personally, I felt it was a good experience - lots of photos taken, lots of observations made.

1  Thank GPenaflorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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