Old Batavia – The Westzijdsche Pakhuizan (destroyed by fire)

Regretfully these historic buildings which formed Museum Bahari or the Indonesian Maritime Museum were recently destroyed by a fire which is thought to be caused by faulty electrical wiring. Hopefully there will be the funds and the initiative to restore at least part of these buildings.

Please scroll down to the bottom of this post to see photographs of this tragic event.

The Westzijdsche Pakhuizen or Western warehouses were built in the early part of the 17th century by the United Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) to store spices and other goods coming from across the archipelago, before they were shipped back to Holland in the twice annual convoy of the ‘Home Fleet’. This painting from 1649 shows Asian and Dutch ships anchored off Batavia and a Dutch East Indiaman being loaded with goods which are being brought down the Ciliwung River. On the left side of the river is the former Kasteel Batavia which protected the city from attack and on the right are the Western warehouses

Asian and Dutch ships at anchor off Batavia

Asian and Dutch ships at anchor off Batavia

This 1780 map of Batavia courtesy of the Bartele Gallery in Jakarta shows the Western warehouses located on the right bank of the Ciliwung River opposite Kasteel Batavia, labelled with the letter y and next to Bastion Middleburg labelled 27.

Batavia, at the mouth of the Ciliwung River

Batavia, at the mouth of the Ciliwung River

Today, the Warehouses have been restored and house the Jakarta Maritime Museum or Museum Bahari. This photo taken from the adjacent Harbour Master’s Tower shows the typical Dutch architecture of the restored buildings.

The restored Westzijdsche Pakhuizen which are now the Museum Bahari (Jakarta Maritime Museum)

The restored Westzijdsche Pakhuizen which are now the Museum Bahari (Jakarta Maritime Museum)

Looking north from the Harbour Master’s Tower towards the entrance to the Maritime Museum.

Looking towards the entrance of the Maritime Museum

Looking towards the entrance of the Maritime Museum

A view of the interior courtyard between the buildings of the Westzijdsche Pakhuizen

IMG_0321

There were a number of extensions to the Western warehouses and this ‘new’ wing was added in 1774

The 'new' 1774 building

The ‘new’ 1774 building

There are many interesting exhibits on display in the Maritime Museum showing the types of maritime vessels used across the archipelago, and the history of Jakarta including this model of Kasteel Batavia

Model of Kasteel Batavia in the Museum Bahari

Model of Kasteel Batavia in the Museum Bahari

 

Museum Bahari fire 8

Museum Bahari fire 6

Museum Bahari fire 5

Museum Bahari fire 9

http://www.ianburnetbooks.com

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About ianburnet

Author of the book, Spice Islands. Which tells the History, Romance and Adventure of the spice trade from the Moluccas in Eastern Indonesia over a period of 2000 years. Author of the book, East Indies.Which tells the history of the struggle between the Portuguese Crown, the Dutch East India Company and the English East India Company for supremacy in the Eastern Seas. Author of the book 'Archipelago - A Journey Across Indonesia'.
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One Response to Old Batavia – The Westzijdsche Pakhuizan (destroyed by fire)

  1. rochelimit55555 says:

    Very sad. I wonder does the Museum Bahari need to have fire system evaluated or not. Jakarta places a very strict regulation for these buildings like buildings should be returned to its original function, etc. This regulation, instead of helping the building’s preservation, it destroyed the building by endorsing neglect because basically, the owner of the building can’t do anything economically feasible to it. It’s a dilemma that no one in Jakarta (even the ministry of culture and education) doesn’t want to put a lot of intention to it, mainly the lack of willingness. My opinion.

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