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Jakarta History, Indonesia

Jakarta has a rich history to boast. This city has been a trading port since the 5th century but it was only in the 16th century that the city had managed to reach its peak popularity.

The Portuguese, who were the first people to reach Java in 1522, had signed a trading agreement to provide protection to Jakarta from the Islamic sultanate of Demak.

The Dutch paved the way for infrastructure in Jakarta

With the Dutch reaching Jakarta at the Sunda Kelapa harbor in the 16th century they had founded the Dutch East India Company to make money in Indonesia.

It was the Dutch who were responsible for developing the infrastructure in Jakarta. Thus, they called the city Batavia and were responsible for walling it while creating a vast canal network in the city.

Chinese immigrants flooding to Jakarta in the 18th century led to overcrowding which destroyed the life in the city. These immigrants disrupted the power balance and led to an eventual bloodbath with the death of 5000 Chinese by the Dutch authorities.

The year of the awakening of Jakarta

With this bloodbath, the British had arrived to take control of Jakarta from the Dutch. However, this colonial rule of the British lasted for only five years after which it was handed back to the Dutch who ruled the city until the World War II. This is when the Japanese took over.

The year 1908 is considered to be the ‘Year of Awakening’ in Jakarta with a group of medical students holding Jakarta’s first political movement. Such groups fought with the Japanese until they surrendered in 1945. Moreover, after the war, the founding fathers of Jakarta created the Declaration of Independence.

Independence brought with it prosperity to Jakarta

With its independence, Jakarta’s first few decades were both prosperous and stable. Numerous development projects were completed while the production of rice soared.

This era lasted until the Asian economic crises of 1997 when Jakarta’s economy collapsed. Despite all the ups and downs that Jakarta has gone through, it is still the heart and soul of Indonesia.

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Jakarta City Ratings

  • Rating95%
    City Rank44
  • History & Culture: not rated
  • Night Life & Entertainment: not rated
  • Family & Fun: not rated
  • Outdoors Activities: not rated
  • Food: not rated
  • Sightseeing: not rated
  • Shopping: not rated
  • Public Transportation: not rated
  • Must visit this place: rated for 95%
Jakarta is one of the top 50 cities in the world to visit. This rank is based on our travelers' reviews. Please also take the time to rank Jakarta or write a Jakarta destination review or travel tip to share your opinion.Jakarta is one of the "must visit" tourist destinations in the world. This rank is based on what other travelers shared about their experiences in Jakarta.
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