The story behind of the magnificent tombstone at Museum Taman Prasasti

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Near the main door visitors will immediately see a statue of women who look crying. (photo: IO/Yoga Agusta)

IO, Jakarta – Historical tours such as visiting temples and museums are becoming a thing of interest today. Awareness of this cultural wealth and historical heritage is higher. If you want to explore the cultural treasures that still have not been revealed, you can visit the Museum Taman Prasasti.

Located on Jalan Tanah Abang No 1, Central Jakarta, you can find museums with rich and unusual cultural content. Museum Prasasti Park is a museum of cultural heritage of the Dutch colonial period. The museum has a collection of ancient tombstone inscriptions as well as miniature tombs typical of the 27 provinces contained in Indonesia, along with a collection of antique coffins. This 1.2 hectare museum is an open-air museum featuring works of art from the past, sculptors, calligraphy and scriptures from the past.

Originally the Museum Taman Prasastiof was a public cemetery named Kebon Jahe Kober of 5.5 ha and was built in 1795, to replace another grave next to the Nieuw Hollandsche Kerk church, now the Wayang Museum. This new cemetary retains a collection of tombstones from the previous years as most were moved from the Nieuw Hollandse Kerk cemetery in the early 19th century. The relocated headstone was marked with the writing of HK, Hollandsche Kerk.

On July 9, 1977, the Kebon Jahe Kober cemetery became a museum and opened to the public with a collection of inscriptions, tombstones and graves of 1,372 made of natural stone, marble, and bronze. The museum was inaugurated by the Governor of DKI Jakarta Ali Sadikin in 1977, due to the city’s development, the area of the museum is now shrinking to only 1.3 ha

A most interesting tomb when visiting the museum of this Inscription Park is Makan Kapitan Jas. This tomb is one of the mysterious tombs, in which this place is believed to give fertility and salvation. The name of Captain Jas is allegedly associated with Jassen Kerk, a Portuguese church. In the seventeenth century, due to the unhealthy condition of Batavia, many people died and were buried in the yard of this church. The burial ground in the churchyard is called “The Land of Captain Jas”.

Two hearses (vehicles for carrying dead bodies) are the first thing visitors will see when they come to Taman Prasasti Museum, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta. The two vehicles are just before the ticketing office. After purchasing the tickets, visitors will enter the gates of the museum’s main section containing tombstones. When entering, visitors will immediately see there is a bell. According to one of the Prasasti Museum guides, the bell was first rung when a body came to be buried.

Next, if you look to the left, visitors will immediately see a statue of a woman who looks as if she is crying. “According to legend, the woman is very sad to lose her new husband married for several months due to malaria. Because she was not strong enough to withstand the sadness, she hung herself, said the guide Park Museum Inscription.

In addition, on the left side are also seen two coffins inside the glass. Both of these cases have been used by Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta. The pots used by Soekarno carry the corpse of the Proclaimer from the Army Central Hospital (RSPAD) to Wisma Yaso (now Satria Mandala Museum) to be buried. Meanwhile, Mohammad Hatta’s coffin is used to carry the corpse from Dr. Hospital.

Tjitpto Mangunkusumo (RSCM) to the Public Cemetery (TPU) Tanah Kusir. Bung Hatta indeed want to be buried in the middle of society.

Then, there is a gravestone belonging to the last VOC Governor, Gerardus van Overstraten. Central Jakarta Cathedral architect, Marius Hulswit also has his tombstone in Museum Park Prasasti. Panglima War Belanda, J. H. R. Kohler also has his tombstone in the museum. He died at the Baiturrahman mosque in Aceh when he was about to attack Aceh. His body is now buried in Aceh.

Indonesian figures also have tombstones there. They are Soe Hok Gie and celebrities from the 1930s, Misreboet. Once satisfied around seeing the tombstones, visitors will return towards the entrance. Before leaving, visitors will see the Dutch writing which means “As you are now, so I was before, like I am now, so will you later”.

As with other museums in Jakarta, the museum is under management with the management of the Jakarta History Museum or Museum Fatahillah. It operates every Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 3 pm, and closes on Mondays and national holidays.

By paying Rp 5 thousand, you and your family can travel history and witness the beauty of sculptures and artwork relics of the Dutch era. When walking around the park that contains the rows of graves and stones you will be served a historical tour bringing you to the silence of grief, gloom, and death that is felt. As a direct sense of historical evidence during the Dutch colonial period. (Aldo)