The Standing and the Collapse of the Dome Church in Batavia in the 18th Century and Early 19th Century

Lilie Suratminto


ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the establishment and the collapse of the church building that ever existed in Batavia, the Dome Church, the Protestants Church of the Dutch Indies Company in the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. This church was established in 1732-1736 by the non-expert architect, Christoffel Moll. This enormous Dome Church had each four Dorian pillars at its four sides and had very large doors and windows (Gothic style). This church was then becoming an iconic symbol of Batavia. The sailors used it as a sign of their direction when they entered the Batavia harbor. Noculaus de Graaff, in his report of his journey to Batavia, told that Batavia was the most beautiful city in the world. Unfortunately, the Dome Church was damaged by the earthquake, while in the same time the VOC or the Dutch Indies Company was bankrupt. The following government did not pay any attention to this leaning church, and finally the Dutch government sold the land of this building to the warehouse company. Since 1975, the government of Jakarta Province has been using the building for the Puppet Museum or Museum Wayang that collects all kinds of puppets from many countries of the world.

KEY WORDS: Cross church, Dome church, church visitors, Heemraden, kerckfabriek, gravestone, baker, warehouse, and painters.

About the Author: Dr. Lilie Suratminto is a Senior Lecturer at the Dutch Study Program, Faculty of Humanities UI (University of Indonesia), Campus UI Depok 16424, West Java, Indonesia. He can be reached at:

How to cite this article? Suratminto, Lilie. (2010). “The Standing and the Collapse of the Dome Church in Batavia in the 18th Century and Early 19th Century” in TAWARIKH: International Journal for Historical Studies, Vol.2(1) October, pp.23-40. Bandung, Indonesia: ASPENSI [Asosiasi Sarjana Pendidikan Sejarah Indonesia], ISSN 2085-0980.

Chronicle of the article: Accepted (August 9, 2010); Revised (September 11, 2010); and Published (October 28, 2010).

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