Taman Cut Meutia (Van Heutszplein) in 1941

A rare view in colour of the eastern end of the Van Heutszplein (now Taman Cut Meutia) with the intersection at Tjikini (Cikini). At the end of this road it turns left into Menteng (Jalan Menteng Raya) and right into Tjikini (Jalan Cikini Raya) and Oud Gondangdia (Jalan R.P. Soeroso). There are so many interesting sights on this picture. Behind the car is the 19th century Indies house known at the time as “Huize Vijfsprong” (Rumah Simpang Lima), a home for single and homeless girls. It was demolished but completely rebuilt a few years ago using the original drawings and is now called “De Fontein” (The Fountain) and will be the entrance and conference hall of a high rise apartment block that will be constructed soon.


The tram of line 5 on this picture passes the tram stop. This covered shed was built in 1899 when the electric tram between Tanah Abang and Cikini was introduced, 12 years before the road on this picture was constructed. At that time there was only a small dirt road next to the tram line, called Gang Kampoeng Baroe that led to the nearby kampung with the same name. Behind the tram we see the Tjikini post office (Kantor Pos Cikini) that -at the time of this photo- was under construction, but nearly reached completion. It would open in December 1941. The house with red roof tiles on the right had the address Oud Gondangdia 1 and was in 1941 the home of Mr. F. van Otten, director of the Batavia branch of the Semarangsche Zee en Brand Assurantie Maatschappij (Semarang Sea and Fire Insurance Company). This picture is a screenshot of rare colour footage, shot by Dutch cameraman Mr. J.H. Zindler, only a few months before the Japanese invasion.