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.
https://youtu.be/nxQ4QFA0DEI Coloured footage of Batavia/Jakarta from before World War II is rare, very rare. American moviegoers could experience the world in colour in the late 1930s, thanks to James Anthony FitzPatrick (1894-1980) who travelled the world for his...
https://youtu.be/Qa9wBhmODC4 Dutch King Willem Alexander is currently on a state visit in Indonesia. His grandmother Queen Juliana (1909-2004) was the first Dutch monarch to visit Indonesia, in August 1971. This after President Soeharto and his wife had visited the...
A series of 18 unique pictures, showing Jakarta in November 1965. The photographs were taken by Co Rentmeester (1936- ), a professional Dutch rower who, after he joined the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, moved to the United States to study photography at the Art Center...
Jalan Menteng Raya 27 in 1940 (above) and 2020 (under) The shape of this characteristic building on today's Jalan Menteng Raya is still very much recognisable, but an experienced eye will notice some alterations, most noticeably the removal of the lovely balcony on...
Jalan Menteng Raya 11-13 in 1941 (above) and 2020 (under) A little gem in today's Jakarta is Jalan Menteng Raya, in colonial days just known as Menteng or Oud Menteng (Old Menteng). The percentage of heritage buildings that is still present today along this road is...
Road workers on Citadelweg /Jalan Veteran 1 in 1948 The condition of most asphalted streets in Batavia/Djakarta after World War II was of a bad condition. During the years of war the Japanese did not invest in maintaining public buildings and streets in the city. Most...
You can contact us at any time, and we will respond to you asap. We would love to hear from you.