July 18, 2024

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Learning the History of Mythical Lawang Sewu in Semarang

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Lawang Sewu, who has never heard of know it? Many decades back, this Dutch heritage building was quite popular, particularly among the inhabitants of Semarang. Due to its lengthy history, average colonial buildings, and the wonderful horror stories of the Dutch heritage construction.

Time has passed, Lawang Sewu has turned into a historical tourist place. If you plans to stop by Lawang Sewu, below are a few of the history of Lawang Sewu that you ought to know!

1. The Origin Title of “Lawang Sewu”

Individuals can understand this construction by the title of Lawang Sewu, but were you aware it is the first name of Lawang Sewu? At the start of its structure, this construction was called Nederlands Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij. Sometime in Javanese, Lawang Sewu signifies a thousand doorways.

But only because the title “Lawang Sewu” does not indicate this construction really has a million doors. In reality, Lawang Sewu just has 429 doors. However, like many other Dutch construction doorways, Lawang Sewu has lots of big windows when seen from a distance.

2. The Previous Use as A Dutch Railway Office

Unlike today, Lawang Sewu was the administrative division of Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij (NIS), a private railroad company from the Netherlands. The very first NIS office was Semarang station, but since there wasn’t enough distance, the Dutch authorities eventually decided to create a new construction.

The building of the Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij (NIS) government office started in 1904 and was finished in 1907. The building began with excavating 4 meters of soil and replacing it with a lunar coating that made this construction anti-earthquake.

3. Apart from being a workplace, Lawang Sewu also functions as a prison

Underneath the bustle of these railway business employees, Lawang Sewu also has a dark side far from the belief of a workplace. The first and second floors function as offices, then the third floor as an attic. It is not just that. This building also has a basement which functioned as a prison during the Dutch period.

4. The quiet witness of this struggle against the Japanese military

From the first time of Indonesian independence, this construction didn’t fall to the hands of Indonesia. Turned it into a battleground between the Kempeitai and Kidobutai soldiers and the Kereta Api Youth (AMKA) during the Five Day Battle of Semarang in 1945 due to this history, the Semarang city authorities gave Lawang Sewu as a legacy building history that has to be guarded.

5. After the independence of Indonesia, Lawang Sewu functioned as a military office

After independence from the Netherlands and Japan, the railway office belonged to Indonesia automatically. From the authorities, this construction subsequently served as the workplace of Indonesian Railways, or we know it as KAI.

However, the function changed again as the Regional of the Central Java Transportation Ministry and the Regional Military Command Infrastructure Agency before being emptied in the late 90s.

6. Once crowned among the most haunted areas in Asia

The tales of puzzles won’t separate the title of this old building, big, and vacant. The identical thing occurred in Lawang Sewu. After being vacant for decades, this Dutch heritage building is now neglected and seems frightening. It’s not surprising that ultimately there are lots of mysterious stories that encircle Lawang Sewu.

In 2013, this building became a test place for a TV show and ended with the passing of a few participants a couple of days after the episode happened. Due to the haunting horror, this building was deemed the second scariest construction on the Asian continent.

7. Today, Lawang Sewu has now turned into a tourist place

It was called the most haunted building, today Lawang Sewu has washed up. Following the renovation and restoration completed in 2011, Lawang Sewu turned into a historical tourist place and one of the landmarks of Semarang.

There’s a gorgeous Dutch heritage building that’s full of history. People that wish to see and visit the grandeur of Lawang Sewu can come from 07.00 am to 9.00 pm. For entry tickets, visitors must pay only IDR 10,000 for adults and IDR 5,000 for kids.

Well, that is some short history of Lawang Sewu you ought to know. How about you? Want to see Lawang Sewu? Before you plan a trip to Semarang, be sure to read more about Semarang and Indonesia by visiting Wonderful Indonesia.

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