TTM at Monas’s Observation Deck

This was just like when we were set to visit Kebun Raya Bogor. I have visited the area several times, but never been inside the national monument that we all fondly called Monas (short for Monumen Nasional), and again Debby and Ina agreed to have our day on May 2 spent in Monas.

Hello Monas!

This famous landmark of the capital town of Indonesia is a tower standing 132 meter high in the centre of Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta, and was officially opened to the public on 12 July 1975. The top of the tower was designed to look like flame and covered with gold foil. It was said that the monument and the museum are open daily from 08.00 – 15.00 Western Indonesia Time (GMT+7) throughout the week except for the last Monday of each month when the monument is closed.

Historical Flashback
The idea to make this monument came from Indonesia 1st President, Soekarno. Then on 17 August 1954, a National Monument Committee was established and a design competition was held in 1955. From 51 entries, only an entry by Frederich Silaban that had met the criteria determined by the committee, which included reflecting the character of Indonesia in a building capable of lasting for centuries. Since it wasn’t satisfactory, a repeat of the competition was held in 1960, but once again, none of the 136 entries met the criteria.

However, Soekarno wanted the monument to be in the form of a linga and yoni and Silaban was asked to design such a monument, but his design was for a monument so large that given the economic conditions at the time it was not affordable. Soekarno then asked the architect R.M. Soedarsono to continue with the design, by which the later then incorporated the numbers 17, 8 and 45, representing the 17 August 1945 Proclamation of Indonesian Independence, in the dimensions of the monument.

Philosophical Look
The towering monument encapsulates the philosophy of Lingga and Yoni. Lingga resembles an alu (rice pestle) and Yoni resembles a lesung (rice mortar), two important traditional Indonesian tools. Lingga and Yoni also symbolize eternal life with the lingga as phallic symbol, representing masculinity, positive elements, and daytime and the Yoni as the female organs symbol, representing femininity, negative elements, and night. The monument consists of a 117.7m obelisk on a 45m square platform at a height of 17m, the goblet yard. The obelisk itself is clad with Italian marble.

In the outer yard surrounding Monas there are reliefs of Indonesian history. The story begins in the northeastern corner and describes events during eras such as the Singhasari and Majapahit empires. The reliefs extend along the four walls showing the European colonialization of the Indonesian archipelago, various popular local uprisings, modern Indonesian organizations in the early 20th century, the Japanese occupation in World War II, the Proclamation of Independence, and post-independence developments. The reliefs were made from molded cement although several of the statues are damaged and have decayed due to weathering.

One of the dioramas shown in The Indonesian National History Museum

The Indonesian National History Museum has a display of dioramas in the large marble-lined hall below Monas. There are a total of 51 dioramas around the walls and in the centre of the hall. The dioramas first show scenes from Indonesian history beginning from the earliest days of colonialism and the Srivijaya and Majapahit eras followed events from the period of European colonialization and uprisings against Dutch East Indies rule. The dioramas continue well into the 20th century showing the Japanese occupation, the proclamation of Indonesian independence in 1945, the struggle for independence of Indonesian revolution, and on to events during the New Order era of Suharto’s regime.

Monas is topped by a 14.5 ton bronze Flame of Independence containing the lift engine. The base of the flame, in the shape of a goblet, is 3 metres high. The bronze flame structure measures 14 metres in height and 6 metres in diameter, It consists of 77 sections. Originally the bronze flame structure was covered with 35 kg of gold foil, and then during the 50th anniversary of Indonesian independence in 1995, the gold foil was recoated and increased to 50 kg gold foil. The obelisk and flame represent the struggle of Indonesian for independence.

Basically from observation of our visit that day, there are 4 area you can enjoy:
1. The Indonesian National History Museum, which contains 51 historical dioramas;
2. The Hall of Independence (Ruang Kemerdekaan) that I am not sure what it’s about, since we didn’t go there;
3. The Cup (Cawan) platform, which is 17m above the ground, is a place where you can laze and picnic;
4. The observation deck, the highest place of Monas you can visit.

The observation deck is very windy, it’s fun to be at the top, plus you get to see various skyscrapers that decorates Jakarta city.

Oh right, the entrance fees are divided into two types. First is entrance fee to the cup area only, which fare IDR 1.000/kid, IDR 3.000/student, and IDR 5.000/adult. Second is entrance fee to the observation deck at the top of Monas, and that will cost you IDR 3.000/kid, IDR 5.000/student, and IDR 10.000/adult. If you want to enjoy both the cup area and observation deck, then just add the costs above. Fairly cheap, huh?

Of course when you are done with your visit, you don’t wanna miss this kind of fun, too!

Having fun doesn’t always mean going outside the city and spending big money! Go ahead and have your fun in Monas!

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