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.
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...
Taman Cut Meutia (Entree Gondangdia) in 1912 Newly built houses by De Bouwploeg on the southern side of the just constructed entrance to the new residential district of New Gondangdia (now Jalan Cut Meutia). These two-storey dwellings were located on the right side of...
Taman Cut Meutia (Entree Gondangdia) in 1920 The Batavia/Jakarta City Council approved a plan in October 1910 to construct an entire new residential district on the grounds of the former lands 'Gondangdia' and 'Menteng'. This was urgent as the city suffered from a...
The Cikini Gondangdia (Simpang Lima) intersection in 1935 Following the 1941 view of this 'simpang lima' intersection, which we published a few days ago, this time a lovely picture of the same crossing, from a slightly different angle though, from the mid 1930s. From...
The intersection Simpang Lima at Cikini - Jalan R.P. Soeroso 1941 A unique view of a unique building that stood on this place until at least 1995. During a visit to Jakarta in 1995 I suffered from a tummy bug while staying in a guesthouse along Jalan Gondangdia Kecil....
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