Lawang Sewu: A Haunted building of History and Heroes

Lawang Sewu
Lawang Sewu
Lawang Sewu

Lawang Sewu: A Haunted building of History and Heroes – Abandoned and antique buildings have a tendency to inspire stories. Legends, Myths, Haunted tales of the building’s origin, its owners and builders. Indonesia as a whole is home to numerous historical and mystical buildings, many antique and dating back hundreds of years. One such building is Lawang Sewu which was built by the Dutch between the years 1904 and 1907 and functioned as head office for The Dutch East Indies Railway Company (Nederlandsch Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij) until 1942. During World War II, the building was used as Japanese Military Headquarters. It is located on the Tugu Muda roundabout, in Semarang, capital city of Central Java.

Lawang Sewu in the Javanese language is translated to mean “A thousand doors”. And while the building does not really have a thousand doors, the massive, three-story structure is lined with numerous doors and windows that resemble doors, from which the building obtained its name.

Lawang Sewu Central Java
Lawang Sewu Central Java

This large and mysterious building is not simply a deserted structure, but is an icon of history and heroes. On October 14, 1945, shortly after Indonesia declared her Independence, the building became the scene for the bloody “Battle of Semarang”. The 5-day battle took place between AMKA, Angkatan Muda Kereta Api (Railway Youth Force) against the Kempeitai and Kidobutai, the Japanese Military Police and Strike Force. Many were tortured and executed during this battle.

  •   This is first time, me and my friends do thing together, the tour trip is a wonderful moment we have, Pak Agus, tour guide nice person and knowledge is good..will come back again with my lovely..

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    6/06/2018

      OVERALL MAS BUDI IS A RECOMMENDED DRIVER!

    Don't worry if u don't speak Bahasa, he can do basic English and just let him know your places to go in mind, he will arrange for you. Hassle Free!

    Travelled 3 full days with Mas Budi and brought us all around Jogja. Mas Budi is great at suggesting places and always on time. He is also willing to wait despite the hot weather and making sure we are safe throughout the journey. He also informed us in advance how much money to standby for the attractions and even offered to follow us in to the places if we are not comfortable or in doubt. He will make sure he send us to he entrance of every sight seeing and great photographer too.We had 3 different hotels for the total of 5 days stay and he brought us to them safely. We stayed in Plataran Heritage hotel, Lafayette boutique and Sofia boutique. Grat hotel with resonable pricing. We drove to Prambanan, Mount Merapi for sunrise,Timang gondala, Burubudur, Malioboro, Pinus Pinggir for sunset. He brought us to places with great food and good massage too! Highly recommended.

    He even drove us to afew pharmacy to get medications when a friend of mine fell ill and constantly checking on us making sure we are fine

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    9/02/2019
  •   30/9/2018 - 4/10/2018( PERLIS ) We had the pleasure of having Supri as our driver during our stay. Jogja is a very beautiful place although the weather is a bit hot. Part of the reason this trip is awesome is because our driver Supri.We had...More

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    10/05/2018

      We are a group from 6 girls. We landed in jogja on 16/9/2018 and were greeted by our guide which is Mas Adi. As all know we are group of girls and take longer time to do everything. But mas adi patiently waited for us...More

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    9/21/2018

In 1950, the Tugu Muda monument was built in remembrance of this fight for freedom and in honor of those who died in battle. Each year, a celebration is held around this monument in commemoration of the heroic, 5-day struggle at Lawang Sewu.

Lawang Sewu Semarang
Lawang Sewu Semarang

To Do

Lawang Sewu is a prominent historical landmark as well as a structure boasting great architectural beauty. Its main attraction is its tall stained-glass windows, displaying the skill and artistry of colonial times. The colored beams of light which filter through the windows of the dimly lit room add to the already mysterious and somewhat tense atmosphere of the building. Of the many rooms in the building, only one can be entered. This room is believed to have been some sort of office or workspace. You can walk around in the open spaces and facilities such as bathrooms and the balconies overlooking the Tugu Muda Monument.

Due to the high number of deaths that took place in at this site, many believe the building to be haunted. The building is open to the public 24 hours a day, should you want to go mid-night ghost hunting.

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