Monday, February 28, 2011

Purworejo, My Childhood City

Van Laar Junction (Tugu PKK). Its named after Van Laar, because of once there's a Hotel near there named
Van Laar 
The cloudy sky this evening make my mind remember about the sky in my childhood city, Purworejo. I was in Purworejo from 1991(whan I was born, hehe) until 1996. But the memories was so strong in my mind, especially whan my mom’s took me to that city last years to accompany her to visiting her friends in SMP Negeri 1 Purworejo, well that junior high school was her past work place. So, I’m gonna tell y’all about the stories of my childhood city.


Purworejo Train Station
The history of Purworejo when I search in wikipedia.org is firstly known as the part of Ancient-Mataram Kingdom based on Kayu Ara Hiwang inscriptions found in the village of Boro Wetan (Subdistrict of Banyuurip), if converted to the Gregorian calendar is dated October 5th, 901 AD, showed that its has been a settlement before that date. Bujangga Manik a Pakuan Kingdom(ancient kingdom in West Java)voyager, on his journey allegedly that he pass through this area on his way home from Bali to Pakuan,. The Journey is at 15th century.

In the Sultanate of Mataram until the 19th century it is probably better known as Bagelen Well, currently Bagelen even just a subdistrict in the district and it has a big market called pasar bagelen, a famous market on that region. I’m still remember when I was child I’ve a friends who coming from that region.

The Town Square of Purworejo, its could be seen
in the distance the GPIB church, ones of the old
building landmarks in Purworejo
After the Duchy of Bagelen submitted his mastery to the Dutch East Indies by the Sultanate of Yogyakarta (due to the Diponegoro War), the region is merged into the residency of Kedu and become district. The Dutch Government under Van Den Bosch (the Governoor-General) built a new settlement, named Purworejo as a center of government (until now) with the Dutch town planning design engineer, while still taking the elements of Javanese tradition. This new city is a city of military barracks, and a number of Dutch troops from the Gold Coast (now Ghana), West Africa, known as Black Dutch settlements centered here.Its interesting that there were a large settlement of Dutch Negro Corps in Purworejo. The people aways call them as belanda hitam or translate as Black Dutchman. But until now, I cant find the rest of them, maybe they just leave for a long time, but to comemmorating the settlement there was a street named, jalan afrika (eng:africa st) in the region that in the past is become the settlement of this belanda hitam.

Well, the old city must have an old building too. When I’ve my trip there, some old buildings are still well maintained and stylish Indisch used up to now, such as the military complex near Ksatrian (my family past residence), masjid Jami 'Purworejo (dated 1834), housing regent, and the church beside my childhood kindergaten, the GPIB church. My city also become the birthplace of the famous people like, Jan Toorop (Famous Dutch Artist) A.J.G.H. Kostermans (Botanical expert), Johan Hendrik Caspar Kern ( Dutch Linguistic expert), Oerip Soemohardjo (Independence Heroes), and so on. Wish I could be as famous as them. Every javanesse city has its own square in the middle of cities. Also in Purworejo, it has a square, covering an area of 6 hectares, and is reputedly the largest in Java. Well, I really missed my childhood city, so bad.
Bedug Pendowo, finished in 1840 and was the largest bedug
 in Central Java in the past
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