Museum Prasasti in Jakarta is, perhaps, the weirdest museums I’ve been to in my entire life!
It’s a necropolis! it’s a former cemetery built by the Dutch in 1795 for the aristocrats of their own kind.
It is the oldest public cemetery in Jakarta and, perhaps, one of the oldest in the world.
Would you really go around the cemetery and read people’s epitaph?
Well, I did! I’ve never been to this kind museum before – so I might as well investigate what’s in there, right?
The very first thing I noticed when I entered was the Funeral Coaches under a shed. They are as old as the cemetery.
As I went around, I noticed that the tombs themselves are in different shapes and sizes.
Look at this! Is that a pyramid?
Also, what is most ubiquitous here is the presence of statues in almost every tomb.
This is the Crying Lady- and I think it’s the largest one in the necropolis.
A harp? A person buried here must have loved playing this musical instrument.
There are 1,732 gravestones in this 1.3-hectare necropolis.
As you can see, you’ll find headstones that are classical in style. Others are neo-gothic and Javanese-Hindu styles.
Now that you’ve seen some of the things I’ve seen inside this necropolis, I think it is fair to say that this can be called a museum – but of a different kind. Jakarta’s rich colonial history is preserved here – among the gravestones.
Where to Stay in Jakarta
I was in Jakarta twice on this trip – and so I stayed in two different hotels: Oria Hotel and Simple Hotel. They are both on the same street – at Wahid Hasyem Street. Staying on this street is the best decision ever. It has restaurants, groceries, and shops where locals go. Also on the same street, you’ll find western fast-food chains (McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, etc.). Twenty minutes walk from the street, you will find two of Jakarta’s premier shopping malls. The staff members were nice, too, and the wifi connection was okay. The rooms are basic but clean. You can book both hotels via Booking, and Expedia. For cheap hostels in Jakarta, HostelWorld has a list of them.