Get to know 3 Cultural Heritage Objects in the Kepulauan Seribu: Onrust Island, Cipir Island and Kelor Island

Cultural heritage in the DKI Jakarta Province area is not only located in the mainland area of ​​Jakarta City. In the Thousand Islands there are at least 3 objects of cultural heritage buildings. The three are Onrust Island, Cipir Island and Kelor Island. The existence of cultural heritage on these islands can not be separated from the VOC heritage buildings in the colonial era in Batavia.

In the book The Hidden Treasury of The Thousand Islands written by Thomas B. Ataladjar, the Dutch colonizers had visited Onrust Island since the 17th century through the VOC.

Even in its development, a lot of names of islands in the Kepulauan Seribu were named the Netherlands. Among them are Amsterdam Island (Untung Jawa), Middbur (Rambut Island), Rotterdam (Ubi Besar Island), Schiedam (Ubi Kecil Island), Purmerend (Bidadari Island), Kherkof (Kelor Island), Kuiper Island (Cipir Island) to Onrust Island or Busy Island.
The names of the islands have now been changed, but traces of the Dutch colonial heritage can still be found on these islands. In the following, we will discuss 3 islands in the Kepulauan Seribu which are used as objects of cultural heritage.

1. Onrust Island
The DKI Jakarta Provincial Government has determined the existence of the Onrust Archaeological Park or the island which means busy in Dutch. Technically, the park includes four adjacent islands such as Onrust, Cipir, Kelor and Bidadari.

In the past, Onrust Island played an important role as a trading center between Europe and Indonesia during the VOC era. In 1618, the Governor General of the VOC Jan Pieterzoon Coen even had time to make Onrust Island a place of defense. Onrust Island also had time to become a prisoner island to a quarantine place for people with infectious diseases. After that, it had also functioned as a Hajj hostel.

After the VOC, Onrust Island was abandoned and looted by residents in 1968. Seeing this condition, Governor Ali Sadikin at that time finally assigned a historical asylum status to protect Onrust Island.

2. Cipir Island
Both are included in the Onrust Archaeological Park, Cipir Island or formerly called Cuyper Island also has the name Kahyangan Island. The meaning of the name is so multi-interpreted, considering the history of this island in the past.

Just like Onrust Island, during the VOC, Cipir Island became a quarantine place for Hajj and those who were infected with infectious diseases. If we walk to the opposite side of the pier, we will arrive at a ruined building overlooking the sea.

During the Dutch colonial period, the building was a hospital ward. However, during the Japanese occupation the ward was used as a place of hanging for the Dutch and natives.

In addition to the former hajj quarantine barracks, on Cipir Island there is also a former large circular fort. The building is not like the Martello forts on Kelor Island, Bidadari, and Onrust, but in the form of an ordinary defensive fort.

The condition of the walls are no longer intact with very severe conditions, shabby and messy. A few rusty old Belgian cannons seem to be piled up enough to confirm that this place has been thriving in the past.

3. Kelor Island
On the island of Kelor there is Fort Martello which has a story and history. The fort was founded by the VOC as a form of defense against attacks from the sea. Fort Martello was inspired by Mortella Point on the island in Corsica, France. The design was made to be resistant to cannon fire.

With a height of 12 meters, Fort Martello is made of red bricks shaped like a circle. Its function, from the fort, the Dutch colonialists could shoot cannons with a 360-degree maneuver. In its heyday, Fort Martello was much wider than now, leaving only the inner fortifications. Abrasion to sea water has eroded the once dashing island.

Those are 3 objects of cultural heritage in the Thousand Islands. The three islands are often visited by tourists visiting several islands in the Thousand Islands.



“Manusia tanpa cita-cita adalah mati. Cita-cita tanpa kerja adalah mimpi. Idaman yang menjadi andalan adalah kebahagiaan.”
- Ali Sadikin -
Gubernur DKI Jakarta 1966 - 1977
“Emang rejeki kagak kemane, tapi kalo lo gak kemane-mane mana mau dapet rejeki.”
- H. Benyamin Sueb -
Seniman Betawi