Saturday, January 18, 2014

Lasem Station, Application of City Identity

The Lasem Station building current condition, abandoned and decayed. The station emplacement now used as the truck parking yard and none of the railroad were remains. Here also available a videos from Nederlands Filmarchief about Station Lasem.
 Railways, a mass tranportation modes that here in Indonesia has been existed since 1867. Even now until this January, 21st in Lawang Sewu, held the exhibition about the History of Railways in Indonesia from time to time. For me, Railways is not only a locomotives hauled several carriage over the railroad, its also a matter of culture. How the railways development affected the society, the timelines educated people to disciplines, and also the construction of this infrastructure.

An information from Pak Tjahjono Rahardjo, a Railfans who also a cultural activist about the Station Lasem always made me curious. A station that the facade adopted the chinese houses shaped. If its true, I guess this were the second station that I know, built in Indonesia during the colonial age but not using the european style building, but the local building characteristic. The first one it was the Stasiun Solo Balapan in Solo, which adopted the luxurious taste of Javanese Joglo shaped building.

I got  so curious about this fact and realize that the station, in every city has its own characteristic based on where the station is belongs to. Here some examples like, adopted the Gereja Blenduk as city icon, perhaps made the Tawang Station in Semarang have its cupola as the roof in main hall.  In order to show about the importance and getting the title of one of the busiest port in Asia after the Suez Canal has been open, in Batavia (Jakarta) built the luxurious Tanjung  Priok station that its design of curve remind us to the King Cross Station, that used by Harry Potter series as its movie sets. But here in Lasem, the building adopted the surround architectures as the city with nicknames Le Petit Chinois, the little Chinese.

The lines here once belongs to Semarang Joana Stoomtram Maatschappij (SJS) that serve the railways connection between Semarang and Juwana, start in 1881. According to the sites of, SJS  was the first of the 15 tramway companies in Java. The tramways were usually related to agricultural developments, especially sugar plantations and factories, tobacco and rubber plantations, and forestry. The lines also acted as feeder to the main lines. These tramways were built according to certain standards, allowing some exchange of rolling stock with the state railways, and some lines were indeed later upgraded to main-line railway standards.

Here in lasem, famous for its Batik craft product, this station must be the important things to distribute the Batik all over the major city in Java. In Semarang, the building of Gabungan Koperasi Batik Indonesia (Indonesian Batik Trading Society) situated not so far from the Jurnatan station, one’s of the station placed in the SJS lines of Semarang-Juwana, I believe its related.

Thanks anyway for Forum Komunikasi Masyarakat Sejarah (FOKMAS) Lasem mates, for take me here. Felt so glad to trace back the glory of Lasem city in a days, see you next mates! J

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