Thursday, October 11, 2007

Lawang Sewu, De Voormalig NIS Kantooren

The Office of  Nederlandsch-Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij (NIS) or known as Lawang Sewu as it appears on 1930 and a medallion with the logo of NIS, issued as the NIS 50th anniversary on 1913.
(Source: Leiden University Library (photos)| devrieze (medallion)) 
Hello World,

Now I’m gonna discuss about my beloved city heritage that is Lawang Sewu. But, not only Lawang Sewu were belong as the heritage building of my city, because here in Semarang, we have a lot of historical place such as Masjid Kampung Layur, Tay Kak Sie Temple, Gereja Blenduk, The Staadsschowburg Building, and many more.

Lawang Sewu from the backyard in 2007
But many of that historical object has not gain a serious attention from the people of Semarang, even some parts of its Old City were torned down to rebuild a new building on there. And now as a young generation, we must keep they as good as possible, at least we must known about the building then preserve them. Thats why, I choosed to visit the Lawang Sewu to gain an information about the one’s of the historical landmark of Semarang.

Unluckily, There’s a lot of young people at Semarang don’t know understand about this historical sites. Even they just know from the mystical and horor sides of them, the Lawang Sewu especialy who "suffering" for being the ghost-seeker destination for a long time. Anyway, the history of Lawang Sewu begin when The Steam train had been developed quickly at 19th Century.To Answer the modernization challenge, The government of East Indie had build a railroad beetwen Semarang – Tanggung. And to organized this, the government established the Nederlandsch-Indische Spoorweg Mattschapijj or NIS.

The Lawang Sewu as it appears from Bodjong street. There
was a city tram passed in the north side of it formerly.
(source: Tropensumeum)
At the year 1903, The NIS wanna build an office for their company ,the Dutch Architect, Klinkkaner and Quendag was honorable to design this building. Before start to build the land area had digged about 4 metre. after that heaped with volcanic sand which is taken from Merapi Mount. First foundation made at 27 Februari 1904 with heavy concrete construction and above it covered by a wall from stone cleave. All important material conducived from Europe, except brick, petrify mount, and teak. With the mixed of Gothique and Art Nouveau style with influence of Hendrik Petrus Berlage,  this building is unique than the ordinary European buildings at Semarang. The Architect also add a relocation pool for the Rob (sea water intrussion phenomenon) at the basement of the building .It also being the condensation system to keep the building temperate cool. Formally, the NIS Building opened at June,1st 1907. The building faced Wilhelmina Park, a beautiful recreational area. In front of the building, a city tram on the Bulu to Jurnatan route used to pass. The tram tracks was still there until the 1980s, but now, there is no sign of them as the road has been leveled and covered over with asphalt .

So guys, If we perceive deeper, lawang sewu not merely a ghostlike building fulfilled by mystical phenomenon. But, so much luxurious value of history which consisted inside. From its thoughness and its structure which remain to be sturdy up until nowadays although renovated rarely, making many people marveled. Then the Lawang sewu building is also had been an eyewitness of the development of our city, so we must keep it well-preserved.
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