It had been on the seventeenth August 1945 at 10 AM, Indonesia’s first president Soekarno read the Proclamation text to an exuberant and captivated audience. Four decades after, it was in this building that Indonesia was eventually recognized as an Independent State from the Netherlands, following an agreement was signed between Sultan HamengkuBuwono IX for Indonesia and a representative for the Dutch Crown.
To memorialize this monumental time in Indonesian history, the Merdeka Palace and State Palace observes Indonesia’s Independence Day every year on the seventeenth of August. A prestigious flag raising ceremony is held on the building’s front steps and can be strictly attended by state and foreign dignitaries.
Today, the Merdeka palace is utilized for official state events and a place of residence for the President of Indonesia.
Situated in the same complex as the Merdeka Palace and encompassed by charming gardens reminiscent of those in Europe, is the Istana Negara (State Palace). This building was the first palace, erected in 1796 throughout the reign of Governor-General Pieter Gerardus von Overstraten. At that time, the palace functioned as an administrative and residential chemical for Dutch Governors-General. Nowadays, the palace is principally used for state banquets.
Typical of Dutch colonial architecture, both palaces have front porches supported by beautifully crafted Corinthian and Doric pillars. Inside the establishments, there are elegant sitting rooms, reception halls and unusually curated Indonesian artworks representative of the plight for freedom fought from the Indonesian men and women.
Prominent sites of Indonesian history and a tribute to impeccable neo-classical Dutch architecture, these establishments are indeed not to miss.
Tours within the Merdeka Palace are available to people on specified weekends, however, have to be booked well in advance.
The two palaces are within walking distance from one another.
The Merdeka Palace
Jalan Medan Merdeka Utara, Jakarta Pusat, Daerah KhususIbukota Jakarta
The State Palace
Jalan Veteran, no. 17, Jakarta Pusat, Daerah KhususIbukota Jakarta
Operating from 9 AM to 7 PM on Mondays through Saturdays and 12 PM to 7 PM on Sundays, a free city tour bus is available departing from the Hotel Indonesia traffic circles and circle Merdekasq and the State Palace.