Friday, June 27, 2014

The Old Voyager

A photos from Leiden University Library archives depicted MS. Marnix van St. Aldegonde, a Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (SMN) luxury liner with the heavies about 19.000 tons, servicing line between Amsterdam and Batavia. Later used as a troopship in the Central Naval Force of the allied forces during World War II. Tragically, She was torpedoed by German bombers in the Mediterranean on November 7, 1943 and sunk. | inzet: SMN lugage label
Entering Kota Lama from the west sides, from Jalan Pemuda, we'll welcomed by several iconic building lies along Jalan Mpu Tantular. One's of the building is Djakarta Lloyd building, that not so many people pay attention to this. Despite the activity is not as crowd as the building beside it, Bank Mandiri, the Djakarta Lloyd building in Kota Lama once become the office for the largest shipping company from Netherlands. Yap, Djakarta Lloyd building in Kota Lama once is a office for Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (SMN). What we see today is the new building that designed by Thomas Karsten and accomplished in 1930. A luxurious building as the symbol of the glorious of the company, see the videos below from the film titled Zoo reizen wij naar Indie, Java-Bali 1938 that depicting the SMN office in Semarang. The SMN itself later nationalized by the government of Republic Indonesia, and their asset were taken over by several state company, just like in Kota Lama, its owned by Djakarta Lloyd.  

The story of NV Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland (SMN),  Amsterdam begin in 1870 while its started to operate a regular steam shipping service between Amsterdam and Batavia. SMN is one of the oldest and largest shipping companies in Netherlands. The SMN established to fulfilled the demand of sea transportation, which is increasing significantly from Asia to Europe after the opening of Suez Canaal in 1869.  

A ship from the SMN leaving  the passenger terminal
of port Tandjoengpriok, taken before 1952 (source: Tropenmuseum)
From 1870 to 1970, together with the Rotterdam Lloyd, millions tons of goods were delivered, especially from the Dutch East Indies. Also hundreds of thousands of planters, businessmen, soldiers, officials and adventurers with and their families moved to the Dutch East Indies as well as others place of Dutch colony. The passenger ships, such as MS Orange, Ms. Johan van Barneveld and Ms. Marnix van St. Aldegonde, were known for their luxury and comfort for that time. SMN ended their operation on January 20th, 1970, while its merded with three other companies to form the Nederlandsche Scheepvaart Unie (NSU). NSU later changed its name into Koninklijke Nedlloyd or simply known as Nedlloyd, until now.

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