Lost Jakarta Publishers.
Our first book is now available. 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA by Sven Verbeek Wolthuys is for those who love Jakarta’s history and are searching for its lost past. It describes the adventures and tragedies of a Dutch family in colonial Jakarta (Batavia), with emphasis on the family’s prominent and influential presence in Tanah Abang, the area of Batavia where they settled.
stories that have never been told before.
Jakarta is changing at a fast pace and historic remnants are also rapidly disappearing. Since the late 1970s the appearance of Jakarta has undergone an unrecognizable metamorphosis following the mass demolition of colonial era architecture and Chinese style shophouses. It has sadly also led to a severe loss of character.
Consequently modern day residents and visitors have no idea how beautiful Jakarta once was, nor are they inspired or motivated to explore its history. Rules are often circumvented and protected architecture pulled down overnight under suspicious circumstances to make way for ugly concrete characterless dwellings. Or as the late doyen of Jakarta’s history, Father Adolf Heuken SJ (1929-2019), put it very strikingly in his masterpiece Historical Sites Of Jakarta (1982):
“What makes Jakarta special should be saved and looked after. Its few old and existing buildings full of charm and color should not fall victim to ‘developers’ who only care about a quick profit. Let’s not sacrifice what for the coming generations is a valuable asset!”
Lost Jakarta provides a peek into the history of Indonesia’s capital. Rare photos, forgotten stories, and precious audio and video. Explore our social media channels and read a sample of our new book 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA.
Lost Jakarta Publishers.
Lost Jakarta Publishers is a new and independent publishing company. We focus on the history of Indonesia, and in particular that of Jakarta and the islands of Java and Bali. We are also active on social media where we regularly post rare photos and forgotten stories about the history of Jakarta, as well as atmospheric videos from the era of the Dutch East Indies. Our aim is to ensure Jakarta’s rich history and architecture will not be forgotten.
Sven Verbeek Wolthuys is passionate about Jakarta’s history. This is not surprising as almost all of his ancestors were born in Indonesia or have lived there for a short or longer term. Sven’s great-x6-grandfather emigrated to Jakarta in 1776 (!), nearly 250 years ago.
Since he was a little boy Sven has been fascinated by the stories of his grandparents and aunts and uncles about their time in Indonesia. At high school he started to read Indies literature (think of Couperus, Daum, Multatuli and Szekely Lulofs), and as soon as he was old enough went to Jakarta to explore the traces his family left behind.
Sven decided to research his family’s history and that of the district of Tanah Abang (where the family owned a large estate for nearly a century). This research, over several decades, has resulted in the book 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA.
Tanah Abang Bukit in 1900 (left) and in the 1970s (right) Since the publication of our book 250 YEARS IN OLD JAKARTA we have been approached by many people from all over the world who, after reading the book, wanted to share their experiences and their childhood...
The house of Herman Salomonson at Jalan Kramat 24 in 1924 One of the largest and most beautifully designed houses of architect P.A.J. Moojen in Kramat was the one on Kramatlaan 24 (now Jalan Kramat V 24). It was at the end of the street, close to the Ciliwung River,...
The so-called 'Spookhuis' (Haunting House) in Kramat, ca 1912 None of the 22 two-storey houses on Kramatlaan (Jalan Kramat V) and Laan Wiechert (Jalan Kramat VII) were identical. They all had their own unique design, ornaments and fittings. The house on this photo is...
The Roemer Visscher Clubhouse in the Batavia Botanical and Zoological Gardens, circa 1930 Strangely enough one of the most mysterious buildings of colonial Jakarta. This massive pavilion featured in the Batavia Botanical and Zoological Gardens in Cikini/Tjikini from...
Houses on Jalan Kramat 5 (Kramatlaan) in 1912 and number 16 today The 22 two-storey houses designed by architect P.A.J. Moojen on Kramatlaan (Jalan Kramat V) and Laan Wiechert (Jalan Kramat VII) answered the need to tackle Batavia/Jakarta's housing shortage in 1909,...
Houses on Jalan Kramat 7 (Laan Wiechtert) in 1912 (above) and now (under) Most meetings of the Batavia/Jakarta City Council between 1908 and 1911 were dominated by debates and decisions to tackle the city's severe housing shortage. A newspaper in January 1909...
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