Indonesian National Museum
The Indonesian National Museum is more commonly known as the “Gedung Gajah,” meaning “Elephant Building,” due to the famous statue of the elephant that stands in front. It is situated in the center of the city, by Merdeka Square. It is a wonderful institution to learn all about Indonesia, as its collections have ethnographic and archaeological evidence that go back to the Stone Age. There are also bronze and ceramic materials from the Han, Tang and Ming Dynasty periods. Some other collections include religious materials like Hindu and Buddhist sculptures, as well as common objects like utensils.
The Maritime Museum, also known as the “Museum Bahari,” is located in the Old Port City in northern Jakarta. It presents the historical and present-day importance of the sea and the economy of Indonesia. The grounds are within the former Dutch East India Company warehouses, and there are examples of boats, anchors, pictures and other maritime materials.
The Textile Museum, or the “Museum Tekstil,” exhibits many different styles of traditional Indonesian cloths, including Batik, tree bark cloth, Celup, Tenun, Songket, Prada and others. It also shows the different types of tools that were used to create such materials. The Textile Museum museum also displays some ornaments and other crafts from all the different regions of Indonesia.
The Wayang Museum is sometimes known as the “Shadow Puppet Museum.” This institution has a collection of different performance puppets from all around Indonesia, as well as some other countries like France, Malaysia and China. There are sets of interesting puppets, as well as related sculptures and paintings.
Jakarta Historical Museum
The Jakarta Historical Museum is centrally located, in the Old City area. It is also called the “Batavia Museum” or the “Fatahilla Museum.” This institution displays the developmental history of the city, and goes all the way from prehistory, through important periods like the foundation of Jayakarta in 1527, to the Dutch colonial period and on through Indonesian independence. There are over 20,000 items in the museum, like furniture, ceramics, weapons, paintings, historical maps and other collections.