Bandung's Historical Buildings

City Square / Alun-alun

Alun-alun Bandung or Bandung's City Square used to be a main place for people to gather and do outdoor activities. Today it seems to have lost its attractiveness since there are many new places for locals to hang out. Though people still come to Alun-alun, usually their main intention is to pray at the Grand Mosque, which is built right on it.

There is a Tourism Information Center (they said it's a temporary site) which is located in the northern side of the mosque, accessible via Jalan Asia Afrika. This office was established by the Bandung Tourism Department in 1973 and provides tourism information within Bandung and the routes, such as factory outlets, eco and historical tourisms, and many more. You might need to ask around to find this small office. Its operating hours: 9am-5pm on weekdays and 9am-2pm on weekend, closed on public holidays. Telephone: +62 22 4206644 (English and Dutch speaking).

Location : Jl. Asia Afrika, the same location as Grand Mosque
Admission charges : free
Facilities : toilets, basement parking area
Nearby facilities : ATM, hotels, pharmacies, money changers, post office
Nearby attractions : Museum Asia-Africa, shopping center
How to get there : by angkot: from Jalan Merdeka, take the “Dago-Kalapa” line and stop at Kalapa station Care Rp. 3,000 in 20 minutes). From there, take an angkot that goes to the it square (either “Kalapa-Sukajadi” or “Kalapa-Buah Batu”). It costs: Rp1,500 and takes only 5 minutes
Remarks : beware of pickpockets around Alun-alun. For more information about Tourism Information Center, you might call Mr. Ajid (the official staff of the local tourism aegy) on the phone number above.

Bank Indonesia Building

This building used to be named "De Javasche Bank Bandung" during the Dutch colony era. It was built in 1909 facing Kerklaan, which is now known as Jalan Perintis Kemerdekaan. Then Edward Cuypers, a Dutch architect, rebuilt it into a bigger building and finished it in 1918. After gaining its independence in 1945, the Indonesian government took over the building and made it became the building of Bank Indonesia in 1953.

Location : Jl. Merdeka and Jl. Wastukencana Junction - click here for location map
Nearby attractions : old buildings, such as church of Bethel and Cathedral, City Hall, and other historical buildings along Jalan Braga
Nearby facilities : ATM/banks, church, shops, hotels, a shopping mall
How to get there : by angkot: from Jalan Merdeka, take the one that goes to Ledeng terminal. After about 3 minutes journey, you can stop right in front of Gedung Bank Indonesia. Other option is by angkot that goes to St. Hall (from Dago terminal), which also stops near Gedung Bank Indonesia.

Gedung Sate

The building was built in 1920 by a Dutch architect, J.Gerber. It is named Gedung Sate or "Satay building" because of the shape of its main roof and was designed based on a combination of Italian and local architectures, Islamic and Hindu. The “satay roof” consists of 6 “satay-look alike pieces”, to symbolize the 6 million Dutch Gulden spent to build Gedung Sate. The Dutch East Indies government used this building as its main office and today Gedung Sate is the office of the West Java Governor.

This building was purposely built facing Gunung (mount) Tangkuban Perahu. Later, the government of Indonesia constructed Monument Perjuangan Rakyat Jawa Barat in front of Gedung Sate. If we draw a line from Gunung Tangkuban Perahu to Monument Perjuangan Rakyat Jawa Barat and to Gedung Sate, it will be a straight line. These three sites are all located on the same latitude.

Location : Jl. Diponegoro No. 22 - click here for location map
Admission charges : free
Facilities : toilets
Nearby facilities : mini markets, pharmacy, ATMs, hotel
Nearby attractions : Museum Geologi, Museum Pos Indonesia
How to get there : On foot from Jalan Ir.H.Juanda (Dago - just to the north of Dago Plaza) then onto Jalan Diponegoro approx. 900 meters, from the junction of Jalan R.E.Martadinata (Riau) and Jalan Banda approximately 1 kilometer [0.62 miles], from Jalan Merdeka (Bandung Indah Plaza) approximately 1.7 kilometers [1.06 miles]
By angkot: from the intersection of Jl. Ir. H. Juanda and Jl. Sulanjana, take an angkot that goes to Cicaheum and get off right in front of Gedung Sate (fare: Rp. 2,000, only about 5 minutes away). Please refer to the location map too
Remarks : Gedung Sate is open for pulic visitors only on weekends and public holidays, and a prior arrangement with Mr. Wawan (internal security staff of Gedung Sate) is required. Every Sunday, there is a Sunday market in front of Gedung Sate (at the Gasibu area). This attracts many local residents and causes traffic jam around the area too.

Hagel Eens (Au Bon Marche)

In 1930, this building used to be one of the most famous trendy fashion shops. The shop used to sell expensive and elegant fashion products from France, owned by Au Bon Marche. Before that, this building was owned by Hagel Eens family, who also sold fashion products but later decided to sell their shop to Au Bon Marche. Au Bon Marche run the shop without erasing Hagel Eens family name, which still can be seen on the wall of today's building. Currently the building is empty and not well maintained.

Location : Jl. Braga
Nearby facilities : pharmacies, money changer, hotels, ATMs, Tourist Information Center, restaurants, souvenir shops
Nearby attractions : local art shops, paintings, Grand Mosque / Mesjid Raya, Museum Asia Africa, Alun-Alun, Braga City Walk
How to get there : walk about 300 meters (328 yards) from the Alun-alun towards the north along Jalan Braga
Remarks : today this building is still under reconstruction.

Hotel Savoy Homann

This hotel was initially named Hotel Homann. It was designed by a Dutch architect named Albert F. Aalbers and was owned by the Homann family in the late 1800s. Homann was a German immigrant who arrived in the 1870’s. When the new building was completed it was then renamed Hotel Savoy in 1939.

It has subsequently been recognized as one of the city's landmark buildings for its tropical art deco architecture.

Hotel Homann or Savoy or Savoy Homann has had famous people on its guest list, such as the King and Queen of Siam (Thailand) in the late 1890’s, Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford who stayed in 1927, Indian Prime Minister PJ Nehru, Egyptian President Gamal Abdul Naseer in 1955, The Duchess of Westminster, and so on. Charlie Chaplin even visited more than once.

Location : Jl. Asia Afrika No. 112 (a few hundred meters east of Mesjid Raya)
Telephone : +62 22 4232244
Fax : +62 22 4236187
Email : [email protected], [email protected]
Website :
Facilities : Wi-Fi, restaurant, bar & lounge, ballroom, meeting room, wellness & spa, swimming pool, karaoke room, business center, drugstore, games room, pick up resvice from/to airport or train station are available
Nearby facilities : ATMs/banks, Bandung main train station, churches, book shop, hospital/clinic/chemist, mosques, postal services, supermarkets
Nearby attractions : Jl. Braga, City Hall, Museum Konperensi Asia Afrika
How to get there : from Dago Plaza, take angkot that goes to Kelapa Terminal and get off at intersection of Jl. Asia Afrika (fare: Rp. 2,500 for a 15-minute of journey) and walk for approximately 0.08 miles to the hotel
Remarks : this hotel is one of the city's landmark buildings and has 185 rooms. Published room rates start from Rp. 1,200,000.

Institut Teknologi Bandung

De Techniche Hoogeschool te Bandung was built in 1920 by the Dutch and renamed Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) in 1959. Although the university has grown in size, faculties and numbers of students, the original buildings are well maintained.

Institut Teknologi Bandung has a unique roof style which was designed by architect Henri Maclaine-Pont, based on a West Sumatera traditional house, which still can be seen today on its east and west halls.

ITB has a view interesting remarks, such as the first president of Indonesia, Soekarno, graduated from this university in the late 1920’s. Asiaweek magazine in 2000 ranked ITB ahead of Australian technology universities – such as the Queensland University of Technology, University of Technology Sydney, and so on, and it is now ranked in the 21st position, down from 15th in 1999. In 2004 ITB reportedly had more than 14,000 students.

Location : Jl. Ganesha No. 10
Telephone : +62 22 2500935
Website :
Nearby attractions : Bandung's Taman Sari Zoo and Zoo Museum
How to get there : By angkot: if you take the "Dago" direction, stop in front of Borromeus hospital near Jalan Ganesha and continue on foot about 600 meters (656 yards), if you take "Sadangserang-Caringin" or "Cicaheum-Ledeng", you can stop right in front of Bandung zoo and ITB is across the road
By taxi: from Jalan Merdeka it costs about Rp. 20,000, from Alun-alun (Jalan Asia Afrika) about Rp. 35,000
Remarks : tourists are not allowed to enter the university unless prior permission is obtained, however the buildings are visible from the roads.

Grand Mosque / Mesjid Raya

This recently renovated building (finished in 2004) is the main mosque in Bandung. Bandung's Grand Mosque has two 81-meter-tall [265 feet] minarets. The initial idea was to build two 99-meter [324 feet] minarets because of a religious belief, but since there is an airport nearby, it was not possible to get permission from the local authority (because of an aviation safety reason).

The original mosque itself was built in 1811, made of wood and bamboo, but in 1930 a new mosque was redesigned by Henri Maclaine-Port. The Grand Mosque can accommodate a maximum of 14,000 worshippers. After renovation, date-palm trees were planted around the mosque garden and a Turkish-Mediterranean style fountain was also built in front of the mosque.

You can climb up one of the minarets with a small admission charge of Rp. 2,000. Its operating hours: from 9am to 5 pm. A staff will escort you to the top, which is reach by taking a lift.

Location : Jl. Asia Afrika (right on Alun-alun)
Nearby facilities : ATMs, money changer, internet café
Nearby attractions : Museum Asia-Africa, Savoy Homann Hotel, Jalan Braga, "Pikiran Rakyat "Newspaper Building (art-deco building), Monument KM BDG 0+00, Jl. Asia Afrika
How to get there : Within walking distance from Jalan Asia Afrika and Jalan Braga; from Jalan Merdeka (Bandung Indah Plaza, Hyatt hotel, Santika hotel, etc) on foot (approx. 1.2 kilometers or 0.75 miles walk)
By angkot: take angkot that goes to "Kalapa" from "Dago" direction (fare: Rp. 2,500)
Remarks : should you want to see inside the mosque, you will need to dress appropriately, no food or drink is allowed inside and do not walk in front of Muslims who are praying. Shoes must be off before going inside the mosque and you can keep them in the lockers provided. Beware of pickpockets around Alun-alun/Mesjid Raya.

Banceuy Prison

In 1871, the government of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) built Banceuy Prison to detain political prisoners and criminal. One of the prisoners was the first president of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno, who spent over 8 months in Banceuy Prison. He was arrested on 29 December 1929 and thrown into a cell located in Block F No. 5. Mostly a cell measured only about 2.5 meters x 1.5 meters with a folding cot and non-permanent toilets inside. During his detention there, he prepared an advocacy "Indonesia Menggugat", which then was read at Landraad Building (now called Indonesia Menggugat Building) on 30 August 1930.

In 1983, Banceuy Prison was moved to Jl. Soekarno-Hatta, Bandung. The old "Soekarno prison" building was later being demolished to build a new shopping complex, named "Banceuy Permai", leaving only Soekarno's cell and a tower guard. Unfortunately, this "prison" is currently not in its best condition and since it's covered by a fence, you only can see the prison from far away.

Location : Jl. Belakang Factory (to the north of Grand Mosque)
Nearby facilities : ATMs, pharmacy, money changer, hotels
Nearby attractions : City Square, Grand Mosque, Jl. Asia Afrika, Museum Asia-Africa, Monument KM BDG 0+00
How to get there : Tourist Information Center (located near Grand Mosque), walk approx.0.14 miles or 250 meters to Banceuy Prison.

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