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The Silent Film Historic Collections

The Silent film Historic Collections

Created By

Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA

Limited Private E-book In CD-ROM

Please look The Sample below and The complete CD-ROM only for premium member,please subscribed via comment)

This book dedicated

 to my grandgrandpa Tan G.L.who built  the first silent film cinema Scalabio at Padang City West Sumatra Indonesia and My Friend Ang T.L(Wirako) his Grandpa also built the silent and first speaking film Cinema at the same city.



Scene from the 1921 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, one of the highest-grossing silent films.

A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards.

Chronologic Historic Collections




 Muybridge’s initial attempts failed and it wasn’t until 1877


The first projected sequential proto-movie was made by Eadweard Muybridge some time between 1877 and 1880



. The first narrative film was created by Louis Le Prince in 1888.

  The first narrative film was created by Louis

It was a two-second film of people walking in Oakwood streets garden, entitled Roundhay Garden Scene.[1]

Roundhay Garden Scene 1888, the first known celluloid film recorded.



 West Orange, New Jersey, used December 1892

Edison Studios were first in West Orange, New Jersey (1892),


The Black Maria, Edison's first motion picture studio

The Black Maria, Edison's first motion picture studio
The Black Maria, Edison’s First Motion Picture Studio,
West Orange, New Jersey,
used between December 1892 and January 1901.
Inventing Entertainment: the Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies

Edison and Dickson continued to experiment with motion pictures in the late 1880s and into the 1890s. Dickson designed the Black Maria, the first movie studio, which was completed in 1893. The name was derived from the slang for the police paddy wagons that the studio was said to resemble. Between 1893 and 1903, Edison produced more than 250 films at the Black Maria, including many of those found in the Edison Motion Pictures collection of the Library of Congress. Most of the films are short, as it was believed that people would not stand the “flickers” for more than ten minutes.

Turn-of-the-century copyright law provided protection for photographs but not for motion pictures. Therefore, a number of early film producers protected their work by copyrighting paper contact prints (paper prints) of the film’s individual frames.


Edison Kinetoscopic Recording of a Sneeze
Edison Kinetoscopic Recording of a Sneeze,
copyright January 9, 1894.
American Treasures of the Library of Congress

View the film which was reconstructed from the paper print.
Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze
by W. K. L. Dickson, one of Edison’s assistants,
January 7, 1894.



Thomas Edison with his Home Kinetoscope, introduced 1912




Scene from Broken Blossoms starring Lilian Gish and Richard Barthelmess, an example of sepia-tinted print.

With the lack of natural color processing available, films of the silent era were frequently dipped in dyestuffs and dyed various shades and hues to signal a mood or represent a time of day. Blue represented night scenes, yellow or amber meant day. Red represented fire and green represented a mysterious mood. Similarly, toning of film (such as the common silent film generalization of sepia-toning) with special solutions replaced the silver particles in the film stock with salts or dyes of various colors. A combination of tinting and toning could be used as an effect that could be striking.

Some films were hand-tinted, such as Annabelle Serpentine Dance (1894), from Edison Studios. In it, Annabelle Whitford,[13] a young dancer from Broadway, is dressed in white veils that appear to change colors as she dances.



Georges Méliès, the first truly great director in movie

Hand coloring was often used in the early “trick” and fantasy films of Europe, especially those by Georges Méliès.



 The art of motion pictures grew into fullShowings of silent films almost always featured live music, starting with the pianist at the first public projection of movies by the Lumière Brothers on December 28, 1895 in Paris.[4]



Edison Receives Patent for Kinetographic Camera

On August 31, 1897, Thomas Edison received a patent for the kinetographic camera, “a certain new and useful Improvement in Kinetoscopes,” the forerunner of the motion picture film projector. Edison and his assistant, W. K. L. Dickson, had begun work on the project—to enliven sound recordings with moving pictures—in hopes of boosting sales of the phonograph, which Edison had invented in 1877. Unable to synchronize the two media, he introduced the kinetoscope, a device for viewing moving pictures without sound—on which work had begun in 1889. Patents were filed for the kinetoscope and kinetograph in August 1891.

The kinetoscope (viewer), which Edison initially considered an insignificant toy, had become an immediate success about a decade earlier. The invention was soon replaced, however, by screen projectors that made it possible for more than one person to view the novel silent movies at a time.



sample frames from Edison film 'Three acrobats'
Three Acrobats,
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.,
copyright March 20, 1899.
The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920


Unidentified silent film 1910



– Saved from the Titanic



By the time that the law was amended in 1912, some 3,500 paper prints had been deposited for copyright registration. This practice proved fortuitous, as many early films have been lost due to disintegration and the high combustibility caused by early film’s nitrate base. Many of these paper contact prints were converted back to film in the 1950s, and hundreds were digitized in the 1990s.

, 1933-Present to see photos and written historical and descriptive data of the Edison’s laboratories in New Jersey.




A film of a re-enactment of a naval battle, depicting Russians firing at a Japanese ship with a cannon

An early film, depicting a re-enactment of the Battle of Chemulpo Bay (Film produced in 1904 by Edison Studios)



 Early studios

The early studios were located in the New York City area.

In December 1908,

 Edison led the formation of the Motion Picture Patents Company in an attempt to control the industry and shut out smaller producers. The “Edison Trust,” as it was nicknamed, was made up of Edison, Biograph, Essanay Studios, Kalem Company, George Kleine Productions, Lubin Studios, Georges Méliès, Pathé, Selig Studios, and Vitagraph Studios, and dominated distribution through the General Film Company.


From the beginning, music was recognized as essential, contributing to the atmosphere and giving the audience vital emotional cues. (Musicians sometimes played on film sets during shooting for similar reasons.) Small town and neighborhood movie theatres usually had a pianist. Beginning in the mid-1910s, large city theaters tended to have organists or ensembles of musicians. Massive theater organs were designed to fill a gap between a simple piano soloist and a larger orchestra. Theatre organs had a wide range of special effects; theatrical organs such as the famous “Mighty Wurlitzer” could simulate some orchestral sounds along with a number of percussion effects such as bass drums and cymbals and sound effects ranging from galloping horses to rolling thunder.Film scores for early silent films were either improvised or compiled of classical or theatrical repertory music. Once full features became commonplace, however, music was compiled from photoplay music by the pianist, organist, orchestra conductor or the movie studio itself, which included a cue sheet with the film. These sheets were often lengthy, with detailed notes about effects and moods to watch for


By the beginning of the 1910s, with the onset of feature-length films, tinting was used as another mood setter, just as commonplace as music. The director D. W. Griffith displayed a constant interest and concern about color, and used tinting as a special effect in many of his films. His 1915 epic, The Birth of a Nation, used a number of colors, including amber, blue, lavender, and a striking red tint for scenes such as the “burning of Atlanta” and the ride of the Ku Klux Klan at the climax of the picture. Griffith later invented a color system in which colored lights flashed on areas of the screen to achieve a color effect.


Lillian Gish was a major star of the silent era with one of the longest careers, working from 1912


The Motion Picture Patents Co. and the General Film Co. were found guilty of antitrust violation in October 1915, and were dissolved.

1892 -1906

Edison Studios were first in West Orange, New Jersey (1892), they were moved to the Bronx, New York (1907). Fox (1909) and Biograph (1906) started in Manhattan, with studios in St George Staten Island. Others films were shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The first westerns were filmed at Scott’s Movie Ranch. Cowboys and Indians galloped across Fred Scott’s movie ranch in South Beach, Staten Island), which had a frontier main street, a wide selection of stagecoaches and a 56-foot stockade. The island provided a serviceable stand-in for locations as varied as the Sahara desert and a British cricket pitch. War scenes were shot on the plains of Grasmere, Staten Island. The Perils of Pauline and its even more popular sequel The Exploits of Elaine were filmed largely on the island. So was the 1906 blockbuster Life of a Cowboy, by Edwin S. Porter. Companies and filming moved to the west coast around 1911.


 Starting with the mostly original score composed by Joseph Carl Breil for D. W. Griffith‘s groundbreaking epic The Birth of a Nation (USA, 1915) it became relatively common for the biggest-budgeted films to arrive at the exhibiting theater with original, specially composed scores.[5]

When organists or pianists used sheet music, they still might add improvisatory flourishes to heighten the drama onscreen. Even when special effects were not indicated in the score, if an organist was playing a theater organ capable of an unusual sound effect, such as a “galloping horses” effect, it would be used for dramatic horseback chases.

By the height of the silent era, movies were the single largest source of employment for instrumental musicians (at least in America). But the introduction of talkies, which happened simultaneously with the onset of the Great Depression, was devastating to many musicians.



Silent film actors emphasized body language and facial expression so that the audience could better understand what an actor was feeling and portraying on screen. Much silent film acting is apt to strike modern-day audiences as simplistic or campy. The melodramatic acting style was in some cases a habit actors transferred from their former stage experience. The pervading presence of stage actors in film was the cause of this outburst from director Marshall Neilan in 1917: “The sooner the stage people who have come into pictures get out, the better for the pictures.”[8]


 The visual quality of silent movies—especially those produced in the 1920s—was often high. However, there is a widely held misconception that these films were primitive and barely watchable by modern standards.[3] This misconception comes as a result of silent films being played back at wrong speed and their deteriorated condition. Many silent films exist only in second- or third-generation copies, often copied from already damaged and neglected film stock.[2

As motion pictures eventually increased in length, a replacement was needed for the in-house interpreter who would explain parts of the film. Because silent films had no synchronized sound for dialogue, onscreen intertitles were used to narrate story points, present key dialogue and sometimes even comment on the action for the cinema audience. The title writer became a key professional in silent film and was often separate from the scenario writer who created the story. Intertitles (or titles as they were generally called at the time) often became graphic elements themselves, featuring illustrations or abstract decoration that commented on the action. 


The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, synchronized dialogue was only made practical in the late 1920s with the perfection of the audion amplifier tube  and  introduction of the Vitaphone system.


1921 Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, one of the highest-grossing silent films.

 Rudolph Valentino in ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ 1921


Unidentified silent film


Loetoeng Kasaroeng is an Indonesian film in 1926. Although produced and directed by Dutch filmmaker, this film is the first film commercially released involving the actor Indonesia.


Silent film Metropolis and  Abel Gance‘s Napoléon

. Eulis Atjih (1927)

A silent film genre family melodrama, the film is directed by G.Kruger and starring Arsad & Soekria. The film was screened along with keroncong music performed by groups led by Kajoon, a popular musician at the time. Acts Eulis Atjih, a faithful wife who must live with her children destitute because her husband left the left to dissipate with another woman, though with various problems, ultimately with the greatness of his heart Eulis willing to accept her husband’s return even though her husband had fallen into poverty.


 Lily Van Java (1928)

The film company that produced The South Sea Film and manufactured in June 1928. Tells the story of the girl who arranged marriage her parents when she had a choice. First created by Len H. Roos, an American who was in Indonesia for Java on the film.When he returned, followed by Nelson Wong in collaboration with David Wong, an important employee company General Motors in Batavia with an interest in art, forming Hatimoen Film. In the end, the film Lily van Java was taken over by Halimoen. According to journalist Leopold Gan, the film is still favored for many years until the film is damaged. Lily van Java is the first Chinese movie made in Indonesia.

Resia Boroboedoer (1928)the temple boroboedoer secret.

The film is produced by Nancing Film Co., which stars Oliver Young, a silent film that tells of the Young fen pei who finds a book resia (secret) belonging to his father who tells the story of a famous temple (Borobudur). It is told also in the temple there is a priceless treasure, namely urn containing the ashes of the Buddha Gautama.

 Setangan Berloemoer Darah (1928) The bloody handskerchief
The film, directed by San Tan Boen, after searching in multiple sources, the synopsis of the film is not yet known for certain.


maturity in the “silent era”(1894-1929) before silent films were replaced by “talking pictures” in the late 1920s. Many film scholars and buffs argue that the aesthetic quality of cinema decreased for several years until directors, actors, and production staff adapted to the new “talkies“.[2]


Interest in the scoring of silent films fell somewhat out of fashion during the 1960s and 1970s. There was a belief in many college film programs and repertory cinemas that audiences should experience silent film as a pure visual medium, undistracted by music. This belief may have been encouraged by the poor quality of the music tracks found on many silent film reprints of the time. More recently, there has been a revival of interest in presenting silent films with quality musical scores, either reworkings of period scores or cue sheets, or composition of appropriate original scores. A watershed event in this context was Kevin Brownlow‘s 1980 restoration of Abel Gance‘s Napoléon (1927) featuring a score by Carl Davis. Brownlow’s restoration was later distributed in America re-edited and shortened by Francis Ford Coppola with a live orchestral score composed by his father Carmine Coppola.

In 1984, a restoration of Metropolis (1927) with new score by producer/composer Giorgio Moroder was another turning point in modern day interest in silent films. Although the contemporary score, which included pop songs by Freddy Mercury of Queen, Pat Benatar and Jon Anderson of Yes was controversial, the door had been opened for a new approach to presentation of classic “silent” films.

Music ensembles currently perform traditional and contemporary scores for silent films. Purveyors of the traditional approach include organists and pianists such as Dennis James, Rick Friend, Chris Elliott, Dennis Scott, Clark Wilson and Jim Riggs. Orchestral conductors such as Gillian B. Anderson, Carl Davis, Carl Daehler, and Robert Israel have written and compiled scores for numerous silent films. In addition to composing new film scores, Timothy Brock has restored many of Charlie Chaplin‘s scores.

Contemporary music ensembles are helping to introduce classic silent films to a wider audience through a broad range of musical styles and approaches. Some performers create new compositions using traditional musical instruments while others add electronic sounds, modern harmonies, rhythms, improvisation and sound design elements to enhance the film watching experience. Among the contemporary ensembles in this category are Alloy Orchestra, Club Foot Orchestra, Silent Orchestra, Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra and The Reel Music Ensemble. Alloy Orchestra, which began performing in 1990, is among the first of the new wave of silent film music ensembles.


6. Njai Dasima I (1929)

This film comes from an essay G. Francis in 1896 taken from a true story, the story of a mistress, Njai (housekeeper) Dasima that occurred in Tangerang and Batavia / Batavia that occurred around the year 1813 to 1820’s. Nyai Dasima, a girl who comes from Kuripan, Bogor, West Java. She became the mistress of a British man named Edward William. Therefore, she eventually moved to Batavia / Batavia. Because the beauty and wealth, Dasima become famous. Samiun weighing one fan who was so excited to have Nyai Dasima persuade Mak Nyai Dasima Buyung to persuade to accept his love. Mak pitcher managed to persuade Dasima Samiun although already married. Until finally Nyai Dasima wasted Samiun after successfully used as a young wife.

7. Rampok Preanger (1929) 
Mother Ining never occupied the school, in the 1920s was a famous singer on Radio Bandung keroncong (Nirom Indies) who often sing around the area around Bandung. Then he entered the world of Tonil as a player and as a singer who had a show in the area around East Priangan. Play movie in 1928 which resulted in his next three films. The films were all silent films. When Halimoen film closed in 1932, also the mother Ining missing from the film world. But until the outbreak of World War II, he continued to sing and had also made a record in Singapore and Malaya. In 1935 he died at the age of 69 years because of pain from liver.

 Si Tjonat (1929) 
The story in this movie spin on the story of someone who was nicknamed the Tjonat. Naughty since childhood, the Tjonat (Lie A Tjip) escaped to Batavia (Jakarta) after killing his friend. In this city he became a houseboy a Dutchman, instead of thanking you for a job, he also undermined his master’s treasure gammer. Soon he switched professions to become a robber and fell in love with Lie Gouw Nio (Ku Fung May). But unrequited love, rejection Gouw Nio make run off by the Tjonat. Business evil prevented by Thio Sing Sang (Herman Sim) who valor.


After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, “talkies” became more and more commonplace. Within a decade, popular production of silent films had ceased.

 In other cases, directors such as John Griffith Wray required their actors to deliver larger-than-life expressions for emphasis. As early as 1914, American viewers had begun to make known their preference for greater naturalness on screen.[8]

In any case, the large image size and unprecedented intimacy the actor enjoyed with the audience began to affect acting style, making for more subtlety of expression. Actresses such as Mary Pickford in all her films, Eleonora Duse in the Italian film Cenere (1916), Janet Gaynor in Sunrise, Priscilla Dean in Outside the Law and The Dice Woman and Lillian Gish and Greta Garbo in most of their performances made restraint and easy naturalism in acting a virtue.[8] Directors such as Albert Capellani (a French director who also did work in America directing Alla Nazimova films) and Maurice Tourneur insisted on naturalism in their films; Tourneur had been just such a minimalist in his prior stage productions. By the mid-1920s many American silent films had adopted a more naturalistic acting style, though not all actors and directors accepted naturalistic, low-key acting straight away; as late as 1927 films featuring expressionistic acting styles such as Metropolis were still being released. Some viewers liked the flamboyant acting for its escape value, and some countries were later than the United States in embracing naturalistic style in their films. In fact today the level of naturalism in acting varies from film to film and our favourites may not be the most naturalistic. Just as today, a film’s success depended upon the setting, the mood, the script, the skills of the director, and the overall talent of the cast.[8]


Projection speed

Until the standardization of the projection speed of 24 frames per second (fps) for sound films between 1926


Some countries devised other ways of bringing sound to silent films. The early cinema of Brazil featured fitas cantatas: filmed operettas with singers performing behind the screen.[6] In Japan, films had not only live music but also the benshi, a live narrator who provided commentary and character voices. The benshi became a central element in Japanese film, as well as providing translation for foreign (mostly American) movies.[7] The popularity of the benshi was one reason why silent films persisted well into the 1930s in Japan.

Few film scores survive intact from this period, and musicologists are still confronted by questions when they attempt to precisely reconstruct those that remain. Scores can be distinguished as complete reconstructions of composed scores, newly composed for the occasion, assembled from already existing music libraries, or even improvised.

. Si Ronda (1930)

The film was directed by Lie Tek Swie & A. LOEPIAS (Director of Photography), and starring Bachtiar Efendy & Momo. The film tells the story of a hero fights that contain elements of Chinese culture.

silent films were shot at variable speeds (or “frame rates“) anywhere from 12 to 26 fps, depending on the year and studio.[9] “Standard silent film speed” is often said to be 16 fps as a result of the Lumière brothers’ Cinematographé, but industry practice varied considerably; there was no actual standard. Cameramen of the era insisted that their cranking technique was exactly 16 fps, but modern examination of the films shows this to be in error, that they often cranked faster. Unless carefully shown at their intended speeds silent films can appear unnaturally fast. However, some scenes were intentionally undercranked during shooting to accelerate the action—particularly for comedies and action films.[9]

Slow projection of a cellulose nitrate base film carried a risk of fire, as each frame was exposed for a longer time to the intense heat of the projection lamp; but there were other reasons to project a film at a greater pace. Often projectionists received general instructions from the distributors on the musical director’s cue sheet as to how fast particular reels or scenes should be projected.[9] In rare instances, usually for larger productions, cue sheets specifically for the projectionist provided a detailed guide to presenting the film. Theaters also—to maximize profit—sometimes varied projection speeds depending on the time of day or popularity of a film,[10] and to fit a film into a prescribed time slot.[9]

By using projectors with dual- and triple-blade shutters the projected rate was multiplied two or three times higher than the number of film frames—each frame was flashed two or three times on screen. Early studies by Thomas Edison determined that any rate below 46 images per second “will strain the eye.”[9] A three-blade shutter projecting a 16 fps film would slightly surpass this mark, giving the audience 48 images per second. A 35 mm film frame rate of 24 fps translates to a film speed of 456 millimetres (18.0 in) per second.[11] One 1,000-foot (300 m) reel requires 11 minutes and 7 seconds to be projected at 24 fps, while a 16 fps projection of the same reel would take 16 minutes and 40 seconds; 304 millimetres (12.0 in) per second.[9]


 Boenga Roos dari Tjikembang (1931)

the floer from Tjikembang

Indonesia’s first silent film, this film tells the story of relations between ethnic Chinese and indigenous. In this film, The Teng Chun acted as director and camera. This story was written by Kwee and Dalia Union had staged opera in 1927, although only a summary of the story, that is about the Indo-Tiongha. And the film is reported by the authors of this Java-made Chinese film is the work of the Indo-Tiongha.



Top grossing silent films in the United States

The following are the silent films that earned the highest ever gross income in film history, as calculated by Variety magazine in 1932. The dollar amounts are not adjusted for inflation.[14]

  1. The Birth of a Nation (1915) – $10,000,000
  2. The Big Parade (1925) – $6,400,000
  3. Ben-Hur (1925) – $5,500,000
  4. Way Down East (1920) – $5,000,000
  5. The Gold Rush (1925) – $4,250,000
  6. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) – $4,000,000
  7. The Circus (1928) – $3,800,000
  8. The Covered Wagon (1923) – $3,800,000
  9. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) – $3,500,000
  10. The Ten Commandments (1923) – $3,400,000
  11. Orphans of the Storm (1921) – $3,000,000
  12. For Heaven’s Sake (1926) – $2,600,000
  13. Seventh Heaven (1926) – $2,400,000
  14. Abie’s Irish Rose (1928) – $1,500,000

 During the sound era


Although attempts to create sync-sound motion pictures go back to the Edison lab in 1896, the technology became well-developed only in the early 1920s. The next few years saw a race to design, implement, and market several rival sound-on-disc and sound-on-film sound formats, such as Photokinema (1921), Phonofilm (1923), Vitaphone (1926), Fox Movietone (1927), and RCA Photophone (1928).

Although the release of The Jazz Singer (1927) by Warner Brothers marked the first commercially successful sound film, silent films were the majority of features released in both 1927 and 1928, along with so-called goat-glanded films: silents with a section of sound film inserted. Thus the modern sound film era may be regarded as coming to dominance beginning in 1929.

For a listing of notable silent era films, see list of years in film for the years between the beginning of film and 1928. The following list includes only films produced in the sound era with the specific artistic intention of being silent.


In the 1950s,

 many telecine conversions of silent films at grossly incorrect frame rates for broadcast television may have alienated viewers.[12] Film speed is often a vexed issue among scholars and film buffs in the presentation of silents today, especially when it comes to DVD releases of restored films; the 2002 restoration of Metropolis (Germany, 1927) may be the most fiercely debated example.


Darah dan Doa (1950),

Blood and Praying

 Indonesia’s first film made by an Indonesian

Blood and Prayer is an Indonesian film by Usmar Ismail, produced in 1950 and starring Faridah. This film is the first Indonesian film made entirely by natives. This film is the first production of the Indonesian National Film Company (Perfini), and the date of the first filming of this movie March 30, 1950, who later celebrated as the National Film Day. The story of this film comes from the scenario Sitor Situmorang poet, told an Indonesian revolutionary fighter who falls in love with one of Dutch who became his captive

 Later homages

Several filmmakers have paid homage to the comedies of the silent era, including Jacques Tati with his Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot (1953) and Mel Brooks with Silent Movie (1976). Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-Hsien‘s acclaimed drama Three Times (2005) is silent during its middle third, complete with intertitles; Stanley Tucci‘s The Impostors has an opening silent sequence in the style of early silent comedies. Brazilian filmmaker Renato Falcão’s Margarette’s Feast (2003) is silent. Writer / Director Michael Pleckaitis puts his own twist on the genre with Silent (2007). While not silent, the Mr. Bean TV show and movies have used the title character’s non-talkative nature to create a similar style of humor.

The 1999 German film Tuvalu is mostly silent; the small amount of dialog is an odd mix of European languages, increasing the film’s universality. Guy Maddin won awards for his homage to Soviet era silent films with his short The Heart of the World after which he made a feature-length silent, Brand Upon the Brain! (2006), incorporating live Foley artists, narration and orchestra at select showings. Shadow of the Vampire (2000) is a highly fictionalized depiction of the filming of Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau‘s classic silent vampire movie Nosferatu (1922). Werner Herzog honored the same film in his own version, Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979).

Some films draw a direct contrast between the silent film era and the era of talkies. Sunset Boulevard shows the disconnect between the two eras in the character of Norma Desmond, played by silent film star Gloria Swanson, and Singin’ in the Rain deals with the period where the people of Hollywood had to face changing from making silents to talkies. Peter Bogdanovich‘s affectionate 1976 film Nickelodeon deals with the turmoil of silent filmmaking in Hollywood during the early 1910s, leading up to the release of D. W. Griffith‘s 1915 epic The Birth of a Nation.

In 1999, the Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki produced Juha, which captures the style of a silent film, using intertitles in place of spoken dialogue.[15] In India, the 1988 film Pushpak,[16] starring Kamal Hassan, was a black comedy entirely devoid of dialog. The 2007 Australian film Dr Plonk, was a silent comedy directed by Rolf de Heer. Stage plays have drawn upon silent film styles and sources. Actor/writers Billy Van Zandt & Jane Milmore staged their Off-Broadway slapstick comedy Silent Laughter as a live action tribute to the silent screen era.[17] Geoff Sobelle and Trey Lyford created and starred in All Wear Bowlers (2004), which started as an homage to Laurel and Hardy then evolved to incorporate life-sized silent film sequences of Sobelle and Lyford who jump back and forth between live action and the silver screen.[18] The 1940 animated film Fantasia, which is eight different animation sequences set to music, can be considered a silent film, with only one short scene involving dialogue. The 1952 espionage film The Thief has music and sound effects, but no dialogue.

In 2005, the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society produced a silent film version of Lovecraft’s story The Call of Cthulhu. This film maintained a period-accurate filming style, and was received as both “the best HPL adaptation to date” and, referring to the decision to make it as a silent movie, “a brilliant conceit.” [19]

The 2011 French film The Artist, directed by Michel Hazanavicius, plays as a silent film and is set in Hollywood during the silent era. It also includes segments of fictitious silent films starring its protagonists.[20]

Preservation and lost films


Many early motion pictures are lost because the nitrate film used in that era was extremely unstable and flammable. Additionally, many films were deliberately destroyed because they had little value in the era before home video. It has often been claimed that around 75% of silent films have been lost, though these estimates may be inaccurate due to a lack of numerical data.[21] Major silent films presumed lost include Saved from the Titanic (1912);[22] The Apostle, the world’s first animated feature film (1917); Cleopatra (1917);[23] Arirang (1926); Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1927);[24] The Great Gatsby (1926); and London After Midnight (1927). Though most lost silent films will never be recovered, some have been discovered in film archives or private collections.

In 1978 in Dawson City, Yukon, a bulldozer uncovered buried reels of nitrate film during excavation of a landfill. Dawson City was once the end of the distribution line for many films. The retired titles were stored at the local library until 1929 when the flammable nitrate was used as landfill in a condemned swimming pool. Stored for 50 years under the permafrost of the Yukon, the films turned out to be extremely well preserved. Included were films by Pearl White, Harold Lloyd, Douglas Fairbanks, and Lon Chaney. These films are now housed at the Library of Congress.[25] The degradation of old film stock can be slowed through proper archiving, or films can be transferred to CD-ROM or other digital media for preservation. Silent film preservation has been a high priority among film historians.[26]

the end @ copyright Dr Iwan Suwandy 2012




Fishes of Ceylon 1834 a

Fishes of Ceylon 1834

Fishes of Ceylon 1834 b

These stunning hand-coloured engravings of exotic fish from Sri Lanka (extracted from a .pdf) are from:
‘A Selection from the most Remarkable and Interesting of the Fishes Found on the Coast of Ceylon from Drawings made in the Southern Part of that Island from the Living Specimens by John Whitchurch Bennett, 2nd Ed. 1834’.
The work contains thirty illustrations in total and the Harvard University edition is ‘Natural History of Ceylon’ from 1861



‘An Account of Indian Serpents, collected on the Coast of Coromandel’ by Patrick Russell, 1796. Russell was the botanist to the East India Company in Madras (Chennai). This is apparently the first book devoted to Indian snakes. The image, spliced together from screencaps, comes from somewhere in the Books, Manuscripts & Maps category at Christies (inadvertently following from a comment by Michael some weeks ago).

All the World Going to See the Great Exhibition of 1851

‘All the World Going to See the Great Exhibition of 1851’ by George Cruikshank.

“This image first appeared in Henry Mayhew’s 1851 or The Adventures of Mr. and Mrs. Sandboys and Family, Who Came Up to London to ‘Enjoy Themselves,’ and to See the Great Exhibition (London: David Bogue, [1851]).”
[image and quote from this entry – where there is more info. – at one of my favourite sites: Princeton Graphic Arts Blog.]

satirical cartoon - London in 1851

‘London in 1851’ by George Cruikshank.

View from the Circus looking up Piccadilly – Proof for an illustration to be included in: ‘1851, or, The Adventures of Mr and Mrs Sandboys’ by Henry Mayhew (from the British Museum Prints Database)

Overland Journey to the Great Exhibition (composite)

Overland Journey to the Great Exhibition

‘An Overland Journey to the Great Exhibition. Showing a Few Extra Articles & Visitors’ by (at one time) Punch Magazine illustrator, Richard Doyle. The book contains no text and the satirical parade of humans and animals on their way to Crystal Palace measured nine feet in length when all of the illustrations were joined together. The composite image is from PBA Galleries and the second illustration comes from the Great Exhibition Humorous Asides page at Kansas University’s Spencer Library.

'The Arts and Manufactures of Ireland'

‘The Arts and Manufactures of Ireland’

One of several designs for political caricatures on the Great Exhibition of 1851 drawn by George Augustus Sala (from the British Museum Prints Database)

Th' Greyt Eggshibishun

‘O Ful, Tru, un Pertikler Okeaawnt o bwoth wat aw seed un wat aw yerd, we gooin too Th’ Greyt Eggshibishun, e Lundun, an a greyt deyle of Hinfurmashun besoide’ by Oliver Ormerod (penned under his Rochdale, Lancashire pseudonym, Felley from Rachde).
“The title of the book (translated from the Rochdalian) is “A full, true and particular account of both what I saw and what I heard when going to the Great Exhibition, in London, and a great deal of information besides.” (image and quote also from Kansas U.)

editorial cartoon: Britannia's Great Party - Punch on the Prince Consort and the Exhibition 1851

‘Britannia’s Great Party’

Punch Magazine on the Prince Consort and the Exhibition of 1851 (from Victorian Web) [See also: Punch Magazine illustrations by John Leech: Memorials of the Great Exhibition]

The prompt that made me look around for some satirical prints on the Great Exhibition of 1851 was receiving a (requested) copy of the catalogue (available online) from Melbourne’s Monash University Library exhibition (until August 31) – Fifty Books for Fifty Years. “This is an exhibition of fifty books chosen by Monash academics and researchers.[..] The fifty participants have chosen items they have consulted in the course of their work. The result is a fascinating variety of books, many of which have never been displayed.” If not for the thousand-or-so kilometres, I would definitely go.

Cover of Meanjin 1949 - Australia

cover of Meanjin Literary Magazine 1965

Speaking of Melbourne, Sophie Cunningham is a publisher, journalist, writer and current editor of Meanjin, an Australian literary and culture magazine established more than sixty years ago. Sophie has posted a set of photographs of Meanjin covers to Flickr. Both the stylised Aboriginal figure in ceremonial* attire and emu head cover illustrations above remain under copyright and have been posted here with permission.

Harp and Pneumatic Organ


These engravings come from the first of Johann Forkel’s ambitious 2-volume work, ‘Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik’ (General History of Music) [1788-1801]. These, together with a couple more similarly interesting illustrations can be found on the last pages of Tome I at the Universities of Strasbourg Digital Library (very little of visual interest in Tome 2). I presume the schematic in the first illustration above is a pedal control unit for a pneumatic organ. It’s too early for steam. Forkel was a biographer of Bach and is often regarded as the founder of modern musicology. He was never able to complete the planned third volume in the series so this first German attempt at documenting the history of music stops at the beginning of the 16th century. (See: i, ii, iii)

Zincgref, Julius Wilhelm - Facetiae Pennalium 1622 (HAB)

Titlepage from ‘Facetiae Pennalium’, 1622, by Julius Zincgref from HAB. I know nothing about this book although I suspect it is philosophical in nature. Somewhere around I have a couple of links to emblemata books by him which might materialise here in the future.

Een Gesigt van de Zuyker mool te Pasoeroeang met het Gebergte Artjoeno

‘Een Gesigt van de Zuyker mool te Pasoeroeang met het Gebergte Artjoeno’


De Tempel van Madjanpoeti van Binnen te Zien

‘De Tempel van Madjanpoeti van Binnen te Zien’

De Berg Mirabie bij Banjoewangi

‘De Berg Mirabie bij Banjoewangi’

Batavia 1656

Batavia 1656

Despite the terrible rendering of online translation of Dutch, I’m fairly confident all four images above relate to the Java region of Indonesia and are all* the first three are approximately from the second half of the 17th 18th century [*see the comments at the end of the post]. They are spliced screencaps from a new cartographic database of several hundred images relating to the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The collection consists mostly of maps (of course) – many fort outlines and lots of interesting and artistic map sketches – but there are the occasional scenic watercolour pictures as well.  From the ‘Collectie/Archief’ drop down menu, select ‘Kaarten van de VOC’, change the number of thumbnails you want to display per page down the bottom and then hit ‘zoek’. It’s all easy.

D'Haazendans 1868

‘D’Haazendans’ engraved by FW Zürcher, 1868.
Spliced from screencaps

De Muizenvreugd

‘De Muizenvreugd’ engraved by FW Zürcher, 1868.
The Joy of Mice spliced from screencaps

World map from 1300 - Monialium Ebstorfensium Mappamundi

‘Monialium Ebstorfensium Mappamundi’

This chromolithograph world map [spliced together from two sections] was made by Konrad Miller in 1896 and is a reproduction of a mappamundi produced in Hanover (I think) in 1300. Although the largest version doesn’t quite magnify all the details, it nevertheless remains an interesting map. Note that Christ’s head, hands and feet mark the vertical and horizontal axes. The digital version is hosted by MDZ.

 the map – the German equivalent of the ‘Hereford Mappamundi’ – is known as the ‘Ebstorf Mappamundi’ (image) and was produced in 1234 by Gervase of Tilbury.

Kermis of geen Kermis


‘Kermis of geen Kermis?’
This lithograph, with it’s unusual scalloped vignettes, was produced by Joseph Vürtheim sometime between 1843 and 1875. The print imagery seems to imply that village fair recreation will lead to death and despair. .

 squid from Bible der Natur by Jan Swammerdam

mosquito from Bible der Natur by Jan Swammerdam

These fabulous squid and mosquito engravings come from Jan Swammerdam’s classic ‘Bibel der Natur’ (1752). The whole book is (finally!) online at Berlin’s Humboldt University E-Doc server. (note the thumbnail link top left; the text may be photocopy quality but the engravings are great: ‘Höhere Auflösung’=high resolution)

The Dutch microscopist, Jan Swammerdam, conducted groundbreaking research into the development of insects and made significant contributions to human anatomy and scientific methodology.

Mathesis Caesarea - Albert von Curtz 1662 (HAB) c

Mathesis Caesarea (composite)

Mathesis Caesarea - Curtz/Schott 1662 (HAB)

 these odd engravings from ‘Mathesis Caesarea’ (1662) just because the idea of adding putti (cupids) to an otherwise rather dry reworking of Albert von Curtz’s ‘Amussis Fernandea’ by Gaspar Schott (the book being about mathematics, geometry and military architecture) seems amusingly incongruous..

Flora of the Cashmere - Gossypium herbaceum + G. arboreum

Gossypium herbaceum and Gossypium arboreum

Flora of Cashmere - Rheum Webbianum + Balanophora dioica

Rheum webbianum and Balanophora dioica

These plates (extracted from a .pdf) come from the beautiful book, ‘Illustrations of the Botany and other Branches of the Natural History of the Himalayan Mountains and of the Flora of Cashmere’ by J. Forbes Royle, 1839.

Allegorie op de vrede (Allegory of Peace)

Allegorie op de vrede (Allegory of Peace) (detail)

‘Allegorie op de Vrede’ (Allegory of Peace) is by A. Zürcher 1814

anthropomorphic Polish satire

‘Zoilus’ by Cyprian Norwid (search on his name at the Polish Digital Library – they have a large number of his works. As previously noted, Matt from Rashomon made a beautiful five minute collage-film from a range of Norwid prints)

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Protected: The Indonesia Historic Collections 1596-1700

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Koleksi taman Prasasti Jakarta(Jakarta Old Tombstone Garden Collections)

Koleksi Taman Prasasti Jakata

Sebuah meriam perunggu cuaca berdiri di depan tanda, menunjuk ke arah jalan yang berlari berdekatan dengan kuburan. Sebuah sekilas dari masa kolonial Batavia, mungkin? Ini harus tempat itu, pikirku.

Aku melihat ke sebelah saya dan serambi tampak besar, dihiasi dengan kolom yang indah di kedua sisi, disambut pandangan saya. Ada gerbang besi yang menjaga pintu masuk, dan di luar gerbang itu, aku bisa melihat lebih dari beberapa batu nisan terpampang pada kolom berdiri di ruang terbuka.

Ada koleksi batu nisan kuno terpampang di dinding serambi bertiang dan ini memberikan seluruh tempat nuansa kuno. Ketika aku mendekati pintu masuk, aku tertarik dengan tanda di atas pintu gerbang, yang memajang kata Latin dalam urutan sebagai berikut:


Setelah sekali tidak memiliki pengetahuan tentang bahasa misterius yang dalam bahasa Latin, aku berhasil potongan kata-kata pada prasasti bersama-sama dan berakhir dengan terjemahan longgar berikut (dan mungkin sangat buruk):

Ini berfungsi sebagai monumen ke rumah relik
candi suci bobrok Batavia lama.

Pada pertengahan abad ke-19, mayoritas orang Belanda di kedua Belanda dan koloni mereka Katolik Roma yang setia. Ditampilkan di atas pintu masuk ke sebuah kuburan yang didominasi Belanda, membuat beberapa arti bahwa tanda itu tertulis dalam bahasa Latin. Hal ini juga mendorong saya untuk menggali lebih dalam sejarah pemakaman.

Taman Prasasti pertama kali didirikan sebagai 5,5 hektar Kerkhoflaan (Pemakaman Lane di Belanda) pada tahun 1795 dan penduduk setempat menyebutnya Kebun Jahe Kober. Salah satu pemakaman tertua di bagian dunia, itu dibangun menyusul wabah penyakit besar yang menewaskan banyak di Batavia. Terlepas dari ini, Kerkhoflaan dimaksudkan untuk melengkapi kuburan dari Nieuw De Hollandsche Kerk (Gereja Baru Belanda, yang saat ini rumah Museum Wayang) yang terletak di Stadhuisplein (City Hall Square), dan De Nieuwe Potugeesche Buitenkerk (sekarang Sion gereja) yang terletak di bagian tenggara Batavia. Kedua kuburan telah diisi dan Pemerintah Belanda harus mencari tanah pemakaman alternatif dalam mengantisipasi pesatnya pertumbuhan penduduk Belanda di Batavia.

Sebuah rouwbord atau berkabung perisai adalah praktek yang umum Belanda. Ini ditampilkan prestasi seumur hidup dari almarhum dan digantung di atas pintu rumah almarhum dan kemudian di dinding gereja di mana ia dikuburkan.

Kerkhoflaan lokasi itu dipilih setelah banyak pertimbangan, dan ditempatkan secara strategis karena kedekatannya dengan sungai Krukut Kali. Di masa lalu, orang-orang mati – bersama dengan keluarga dan teman-teman berduka – diangkut dalam kapal kecil dari Rumah Sakit Binnen (sekarang Bank hari Museum Indonesia) di utara sepanjang Kali Krukut dan pergi ke selatan ke Kerkhoflaan, di mana mobil jenazah akan dipindahkan ke lahan kering untuk kereta kuda di lokasi sekarang dari Departemen Komunikasi dan Informatika. Mobil jenazah akan menempuh jarak pendek di jalan untuk Kerkhoflaan untuk ritual terakhir sebelum tubuh ini akhirnya dimakamkan di pemakaman.

Kerkhoflaan adalah tanah pemakaman untuk bangsawan Belanda dan beberapa pejabat tinggi dari VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie – Belanda Perusahaan India Timur) di mana mereka dimakamkan oleh keluarga dan kerabat. Masyarakat umum diizinkan untuk dikubur di sana banyak kemudian tapi biaya tertentu harus dibayar. Setelah proclaimation kemerdekaan dari Belanda pada tahun 1945, Pemerintah Indonesia menutup pemakaman pada tahun 1975 seperti yang telah kehabisan ruang.

Morbid, tapi itu bagaimana kita semua berakhir satu hari.

Selama waktu ini, semua mayat terkubur di bawah pemakaman entah dipindahkan ke kuburan lain (yaitu pemakaman di Menteng Pulo) atau dibawa kembali ke Belanda oleh kerabat yang tinggal mereka, meninggalkan batu nisan di belakang. Pemakaman asli juga menyusut menjadi 1,3 hektar situs sebagai bagian dari kantor Walikota Jakarta Pusat baru itu dibangun atas dasar pemakaman mantan. Pemakaman itu dibuka kembali untuk umum sebagai museum pada 9 Juli 1977 oleh Gubernur Jakarta saat itu-, Ali Sadikin. Sebuah plak ditampilkan pada monolit kecil yang terletak dekat pintu masuk untuk memperingati ini bergerak oleh Pemerintah.

Monolit di Taman Prasasti pesan bantalan Gubernur Ali Sadikin dan tanda tangan.
Dia tanda-tanda off dengan pangkat militer – Letnan Jenderal TNI * Korps Marinir
TNI – Tentara Nasional Indonesia (Tentara Nasional Indonesia)

Bangunan utama yang saya sedang berdiri di dibangun pada 1844 dengan urutan kolom Doric disukai oleh Dorians, salah satu dari dua ras Yunani. Ini dikenal sebagai Gedung Balairung dan memiliki dua sayap di kedua sisi yang berfungsi sebagai ruang seremonial untuk ritual terakhir sebelum penguburan dilakukan. Aula di sayap kanan digunakan untuk tubuh perempuan, sedangkan yang lain di sebelah kiri digunakan untuk tubuh laki-laki.

Saat aku melangkah melewati gerbang ke pemakaman, aku disambut oleh deretan kolom dihiasi dengan batu nisan tua. Tampaknya bahwa orang-orang di belakang proyek renovasi telah memilih beberapa batu nisan yang akan ditetapkan di pilar-pilar beton. Sebagian besar prasasti dari batu nisan yang ditampilkan pada tiang-tiang itu masih dapat dibaca. Saya diberitahu bahwa orang-orang batu nisan di layar dipilih karena prasasti cerdas mereka dan makna yang lebih dalam di belakang mereka. Salah satu batu nisan seperti itu ditulis dengan baik ayat tertulis dalam bahasa Belanda dengan kata-kata mencolok:


yang diterjemahkan ke

Seperti Anda sekarang, saya sebelumnya. Dan seperti saya sekarang, sehingga Anda akan menjadi salah satu hari

Pilar-pilar di pintu masuk semua nomor dan tertata rapi.
Untuk sebelah kiri pilar batu nisan, saya melihat pemandangan yang aneh. Ada bel duduk di atas tiang logam dan lonceng itu melekat pada tali, yang bisa menarik pengunjung. Namun, saya pikir tidak banyak yang tahu bahwa lonceng ini sebenarnya digunakan di masa lalu oleh para pekerja pemakaman untuk menginformasikan semua staf bahwa sebuah badan baru yang baru saja tiba. Seorang pekerja, bila melihat kedatangan mobil jenazah, akan membunyikan bel dengan menarik tali dan semua staf akan menyiapkan item yang diperlukan untuk ritual akhir dalam masing-masing sayap Gedung Balairung. Aku cukup yakin bahwa banyak pengunjung yang membunyikan bel bercanda akan terkejut untuk mengetahui tujuan sebenarnya dari “lonceng kematian”.

“Kematian bel” dari Taman Prasasti. Berpikir dua kali sebelum Anda menarik tali itu.

Aku bergerak lebih jauh ke dalam, bersemangat untuk menemukan makam Olivia Raffles. Namun, seperti aku melihat sekeliling, saya menyadari bahwa kuburan itu lebih rumit dari yang saya duga. Aku berharap untuk melihat makam diatur dalam rumput rumput yang rapi dengan beberapa makam berbentuk aneh seperti yang ada di Petamburan. Itu akan membuat pencarian saya jauh lebih mudah. Namun, ini tidak terjadi. Taman Prasasti adalah sebuah taman pemakaman luas dengan makam-makam yang ditempatkan sembarangan. Ada makam dari berbagai bentuk dan ukuran di mana-mana. Aku tidak tahu di mana untuk memulai. Itu adalah mimpi buruk total.

Bunga kamboja jatuh, umumnya terkait dengan Pontianak, dapat ditemukan dalam kelimpahan dekat pintu masuk. Tidak ada “Fatimah rocker” dapat ditemukan di sini meskipun.

Sicantik  Menangis

Pergi dengan insting saya, saya memutuskan untuk bergerak dalam arah searah jarum jam untuk menyisir daerah tersebut. Begitu aku memulai pencarian saya, sebuah kuburan khas dengan penutup khas tertangkap mata saya segera. Penutup makam mengambil bentuk seorang wanita sedih tergeletak di tanah dengan kepala terbenam di tangannya, yang menggambarkan saat pedih orang yang dicintai berangkat dari dunia ini. Saya suka menyebutnya wanita itu Kecantikan Menangis.

Rupanya ini adalah kuburan yang sangat terkenal dengan cerita kembali-ke patung Kecantikan Menangis. Dikatakan bahwa makam dibangun untuk menggambarkan rasa sakit dari seorang wanita yang baru menganut yang suaminya meninggal karena malaria. Tidak dapat mengambil rasa sakit, wanita itu bunuh diri. Sayangnya, tidak ada prasasti di atas kuburan untuk memberikan petunjuk tentang identitas sejati Kecantikan Menangis itu.

Makam Roll H.F Dr

Sebuah batu membuang dari Kecantikan Menangis, sebuah buku terbuka yang diukir dari batu terletak di atas makam Dr HF Roll. Dr Gulung adalah pendiri dan direktur STOVIA medis sekolah, yang berkembang menjadi Fakultas Kedokteran di Universitas Indonesia saat ini.

Pada tahun 1851, pemerintah kolonial Belanda memutuskan untuk mendirikan sebuah sekolah untuk melatih asisten medis asli. Pelatihan untuk setiap orang berlangsung selama dua tahun dan lulusan telah disertifikasi untuk menyediakan perawatan medis sederhana dan mendasar. Tingkat diberikan kepada lulusan adalah Dokter Djawa atau “Dokter Jawa” karena mereka disertifikasi hanya berpraktek di Hindia Belanda, terutama jadi di pulau Jawa. Segera, program menjadi lebih komprehensif dan dengan 1875, program ini telah mencapai 7 tahun panjang. Lulusan berhak ke tingkat yang lebih mapan dari Dokter Medis. Kemudian, lompatan kuantum datang pada tahun 1898, ketika pemerintah mendirikan sekolah kedokteran yang sama sekali baru bernama STOVIA untuk melatih dokter medis.

STOVIA berdiri untuk Sekolah Tot Opleiding Van Inlandsche Artsen atau “Sekolah Pelatihan untuk Dokter asli” yang terletak di Hospitaalweg (harfiah Jalan Rumah Sakit) di Batavia. Banyak lulusan STOVIA kemudian memainkan peran penting selama gerakan nasional Indonesia terhadap proclaimation mereka kemerdekaan, serta dalam mengembangkan pendidikan kedokteran di Indonesia secara keseluruhan.

Dr Gulung dapat dilihat melakukan ceramah kepada sekelompok peserta dokter pribumi di foto tua yang diambil pada tahun 1902 (link) di mana dia duduk di sebelah kiri. Dia juga dapat dilihat duduk di tengah-tengah foto ini anggota staf STOVIA (link).

Sesuai dengan akar nya, buku batu di makam Dr Gulung menggambarkan kebijaksanaan dan pengejaran tanpa henti keunggulan akademik medis saat dia masih hidup.

Prasasti berbunyi:

27 MAY 1867 – 20 September 1935

Di bawah prasasti nama Dr HF Gulung, saya menemukan nama orang lain dari keluarga gulung yang dikubur bersamanya. Prasasti (diterjemahkan) di bawah ini mengatakan:

Frits ROLL
Maret 20 1920 – 15 Januari 1940

Saya menduga bahwa ini mungkin anak Dr Gulung itu, melihat bahwa mereka berbagi nama yang sama. Tidak banyak informasi tentang Gulung Frits, kecuali bahwa dia adalah seorang mahasiswa kedokteran dan meninggal sebelum ulang tahunnya yang ke-20. Sebuah chip dari blok lama, mungkin?

Di bagian bawah penutup makam, prasasti Latin berikut dapat ditemukan:

                                                              Ovid CEPAT IV 311

Ini adalah pesan inspiratif yang diterjemahkan menjadi:

                       Sebuah kemenangan hati nurani yang jelas lebih dari kebohongan palsu.
                                                             Ovid kronika IV 311
Ovid adalah seorang penyair Romawi yang hidup pada awal masa pemerintahan Augustus, kaisar pertama Roma. Kutipan ini diambil dari buku keempat dari Ovid kronika, koleksi buku keenam puisi bersifat sajak sedih Latin.

Jar rusak Anda lihat dalam gambar di atas digunakan untuk menghias kaki kuburan. Namun, sayang untuk melihat bahwa ia telah dipecah menjadi dua bagian mungkin melalui pekerjaan dari beberapa perusak.

Memorial Jepang

Karena ini adalah sebuah pemakaman untuk Belanda dan Eropa lainnya, aku paling terkejut melihat sebuah makam Jepang saat aku terus berjalan saya. Saat aku mendekati batu nisan, aku disambut oleh sebuah batu nisan tertulis dalam Kanji.

Nisan itu sebenarnya sebuah monumen untuk 30 tentara Jepang pemberani dari Kota Shibata, Niigata Prefacture, yang berjuang untuk Perusahaan 19, Batalyon 16, Divisi ke-2 dari Tentara Kekaisaran Jepang. Seluruh perusahaan tewas di Sungai Ciantung di Bogor pada tahun 1942 ketika Jepang menyerbu Hindia Belanda. Orang-orang Jepang yang tinggal di Jakarta datang ke monumen ini dua kali setahun untuk melakukan ritual seremonial sebagai tanda menghormati almarhum.

Pangkat dan nama almarhum yang terukir pada plak batu di bawah batu nisan.

Para Carriage mobil jenazah

Kembali di hari-hari ketika Kali Krukut sungai masih digunakan untuk mengangkut mayat-mayat dari Rumah Sakit Binnen, kuda-kereta jenazah yang biasa digunakan untuk mentransfer tubuh dari bank sungai ke Gedung Balairung dalam persiapan untuk pemakaman.

Kekayaan dan status sosial dari orang yang meninggal sering tercermin dalam jumlah kuda menarik kereta ke kuburan. Orang kaya atau terkenal lebih merupakan itu, kuda-kuda lebih akan menarik mobil jenazah mereka. Sebagai mobil jenazah kereta membuat jalan ke gerbang Kerkhoflaan, seorang pekerja pemakaman akan membunyikan lonceng untuk menginformasikan semua orang dari kedatangannya. Administrator pemakaman akan mempersiapkan diri ketika mereka mendengar dering bel, dan orang dering bel akan berlanjut sampai mobil jenazah tiba di gerbang yang tepat.

Hari ini, replika dari mobil jenazah kereta ditampilkan di layar gudang yang terletak di sudut Taman Prasasti.



Mobil jenazah tidak terbungkus dalam gelas di yesteryears. Para panel kaca dipasang
pada replika ini untuk mencegah masyarakat dari memanjat di dalam gerbong.


Sebuah jalan untuk membantu kereta hingga tampilan nya gudang.

Legenda Kapten Jas

Ada sebuah makam tertentu yang diyakini memiliki kekuatan untuk memberikan kemakmuran, kebahagiaan dan kesuburan bagi mereka yang mengunjunginya. Penghuni kuburan ini tampaknya supranatural berjalan dengan nama Kapiten Jas (Kapten Jas). Namun, identitas orang yang dikuburkan di sana tetap menjadi misteri sejati. Makam ini terkenal memiliki aroma yang kuat membakar dupa sekitarnya meskipun ada ternyata tidak ada dupa yang sedang ditawarkan di daerah itu.

Ketika saya pertama stumbled atas makam Kapten Jas, awalnya saya pikir itu adalah tempat penyimpanan untuk “hilang dan ditemukan” item dalam kuburan. Bayangkan keterkejutan saya ketika saya membaca prasasti dan menyadari bahwa aku telah menemukan-Nya “makam”. Saya tidak menangkap bau bau “terkenal” dupa meskipun, dan udara berbau tetap sepanjang waktu aku berada di sana. Waktu yang salah, mungkin? Itu juga cukup tidak biasa untuk melihat bahwa pohon telah tumbuh di atas bagian dari kuburan.

Terlepas dari patung Yesus Kristus, guci dan lintas yang ditemukan tergeletak di atas kubur, piring batu kecil ditempelkan ke sudut makam. Ia mengatakan:

Vader JAS

Bij OL Heer

Dan terjemahan (sangat longgar) berlangsung seperti ini:



Dari prasasti ini, tampaknya bahwa banyak dari mereka yang mengunjungi makam ini benar-benar menempatkan sejumlah besar iman yang benar dalam kekuatan Kapten Jas. Kata-kata yang dipilih untuk tulisan menggambarkan betapa “Bapa Jas” diyakini menjadi pengikut Allah dan satu yang mampu mengirim pesan atas nama orang percaya.

Di sini terletak Kapten Jas.

Nama Kapiten Jas dapat ditelusuri kembali ke Jassenkerk, sebuah gereja Portugis yang terletak dekat kuburan. Pada pertengahan tahun 1600-an, banyak orang yang dimakamkan di sebuah pemakaman di dekat pos jaga yang terletak di sisi timur Jembatan Jassen, sebuah jembatan kayu yang berlari melintasi anak sungai dari Sungai Ciliwung. Sungai ini merupakan bagian penting dari infrastruktur selatan Batavia karena membantu untuk mengarahkan air berlebih ke Stadsbuitengracht, sebuah kanal drainase besar terbuka yang terletak di luar tembok kota.

 Pada 1676, sebuah gereja Katolik Roma, yang dibangun benar-benar keluar dari bambu, didirikan dekat kuburan. Karena kedekatannya dengan Jembatan Jassen, itu hanya bernama Jassenkerk (Jassen Gereja) dan pemakaman telah berasimilasi gereja. Seluruh “Kapten Jas” kegagalan diyakini menjadi sosok sederhana dari pidato di mana orang menggambarkan kematian dan penguburan sebagai “het tanah naar Jaket Kapten von gaan” atau “pergi ke tanah Kapten Jas”.

Kemudian, beberapa mayat dikuburkan di gereja Jassenkerk direlokasi ke Kerkhoflaan. Oleh karena itu, secara luas diyakini bahwa batu nisan bertuliskan nama Kapten Jas di Taman Prasasti adalah benar-benar hanya suatu peringatan akan gereja Jassenkerk sendiri, dan bahwa orang ini imajiner – Kapten Jas – tidak benar-benar ada, juga tidak ada yang benar-benar terkubur di bawah nisan. Rekening orang-orang yang mengaku memiliki pengalaman aneh dengan penciuman bau supernatural membakar dupa di kuburan mungkin bisa menghubungkannya dengan penggunaan dupa selama ibadah di Jassenkerk ketika itu masih ada. Gereja bambu telah dihapus dan diganti dengan Gereja Sion.

Dalam versi lain dari legenda Kapten Jas, dikatakan bahwa kejadian aneh terjadi ketika makam ini digali. Para pekerja menemukan bahwa peti mati yang begitu erat terkait dengan akar pohon yang tumbuh di sampingnya, hal itu tidak mungkin untuk menghapus peti mati. Kata segera menyebar seperti api dan banyak orang mulai mengunjungi makam ini aneh. Banyak yang mengunjungi makam itu mengklaim bahwa mereka mengalami perubahan besar dalam hidup mereka. Mereka yang miskin menjadi kaya secara signifikan, sementara pasangan memiliki anak juga berhasil berhasil hamil setelah mengunjungi kuburan.

Kedua versi dari legenda Kapten Jas tampaknya bertentangan satu sama lain. Satu versi menyatakan bahwa dia tidak ada, sementara yang lain melibatkan penemuan peti mati bawah kuburan. Namun, meskipun awan ketidakpastian yang mengelilingi legenda Kapten Jas, masih banyak berdatangan ke makam, bersemangat untuk mencari kesuburan, keselamatan, kemakmuran atau kebahagiaan.

Ini adalah misteri sejati yang masih harus dipecahkan.

Mungkinkah ini makam Olivia?

Saat aku terus berjalan di sepanjang jalur, aku melihat sebuah makam besar di dekat ke makam Kapten Jas. Makam sedang beristirahat di atas tangga oktagonal dan itu dikelilingi oleh 8 kolom pendek. Hal pertama yang mengejutkan saya adalah tangga hitam dan kolom putih. Ini skema warna jauh lebih mirip dengan kolonial Inggris “hitam & putih” rumah Tudor yang kita miliki di Singapura. Mungkinkah ini makam Olivia Mariamne Raffles?


Aku naik tangga dengan penuh semangat, ingin membaca prasasti di atas kuburan untuk mengkonfirmasi asumsi saya. Namun, prasasti di batu nisan itu sendiri telah buruk cuaca dan itu akan menjadi tantangan nyata untuk membaca prasasti tanpa mengolesi beberapa kapur ke batu nisan. Namun, tidak hanya saya tidak memiliki kapur apapun dengan saya, saya tidak berpikir itu akan sangat bagus untuk mulai menerapkan kapur atas semua makam yang saya hanya diasumsikan milik Lady Raffles!

 Bagian atas nisan mungkin telah memudar dengan waktu, tetapi saya masih bisa melihat tulisan samar di atasnya.


Prasasti itu berbunyi:

ke memori dari
OLIVIA Mariamne
Wakil gubernur
Dan yang dependancies
Siapa yang meninggalkan kehidupan ini
Hari 26 November 1814

BINGO! Keringat, gigitan nyamuk dan kelelahan sia-sia. Ini makam di sini adalah bagian penting dari sejarah tidak hanya untuk orang Jawa, tetapi juga untuk kita sebagai Raffles pergi dari Jawa ke ditemukan Singapura. Setiap kelelahan aku merasa sebelumnya telah menghilang seketika. Di sini, tepat di depan mata saya, sebuah fragmen dari masa kolonial kami.

Aku berkeliling makam dengan semangat baru, memotret saat aku mengelilingi tempat peristirahatan megah akhir Olivia Mariamne Raffles. Pikiran mengisi pikiran saya. Bagaimana jika Olivia Raffles tidak jatuh korban penyakit yang dideritanya selama tinggal di Jawa? Bagaimana jika ia mengikuti Raffles ke Singapura? Perubahan apa yang akan dia telah diimplementasikan sebagai First Lady pendiri Singapura? Begitu banyak bagaimana seandainya muncul di pikiran saya. Hal itu cukup menarik.

Di depan makam, ada sebuah piring kecil yang ditambahkan jauh kemudian (mungkin oleh kurator) untuk membantu mengidentifikasi makam juga.



Saya menemukan prasasti lucu sebagai kata-kata “Keterangan: Bentuk Kijing” pada pelat sebenarnya berarti “Keterangan: Bentuk batu nisan”. Hal ini juga menggambarkan tahun bahwa makam telah selesai (1814), jumlah persediaan (mungkin sebagai rekor museum) dan yang paling penting nama penghuni kubur itu.

Sementara menyiapkan tripod saya untuk menembak di bawah ini, saya perhatikan bahwa kantor Walikota Jakarta Pusat adalah latar belakang foto saya. Makam Olivia Mariamne Raffles adalah salah satu yang paling dekat dengan kantor Walikota. Karena gedung ini baru dibangun atas apa yang awalnya bagian dasar pemakaman mantan, batas pekuburan akan diperpanjang jauh melampaui mencapai Kantor Walikota.

Anda dapat membandingkan makam Olivia Mariamne Raffles dengan peringatan Sir Stamford Raffles dibangun untuknya di dekat istana Letnan-Gubernur di Buitenzorg (sekarang Kebun Raya Bogor) di bawah ini. Anda bisa klik untuk memperbesar foto atau melihat set lengkap di sini.



Ada bernyanyi dan bertepuk tangan riuh datang dari sekelompok orang yang mengenakan pakaian yang sama di lingkungan kantor walikota, memecah kesunyian di kuburan. Sekelompok pegawai pemerintah memiliki semacam membangun tim kegiatan, mungkin?

Saya berdiri kembali dan melihat delapan kolom pendek di sekitar makam. Meskipun mereka terlihat seperti mereka dibangun untuk melambangkan poin kardinal kompas, kolom ini sebenarnya bagian dari church.When Belanda gereja itu dianggap terlalu tua dan tidak aman untuk digunakan lagi, batu dari gereja itu digunakan kembali untuk menghias makam Olivia Mariamne Raffles. Delapan kolom, yang digunakan untuk mendukung atap gereja tua itu, kemudian diperpendek dan ditempatkan di sekitar makam sebagai hiasan.

Makam Yohanes Casper Leiden,

penulis Skotlandia, dokter, penyair dan ahli bahasa oriental brilian yang merupakan teman dekat dari Raffleses, terletak di dekat makam Olivia Raffles juga.

John Leyden dan Raffles Olivia sering berkirim surat dan puisi dengan satu sama lain dan ia dikenal menjadi teman dada Sir Stamford Raffles dan kepercayaan dari pasangan. Keduanya bertemu ketika Leiden, yang meninggalkan India Inggris setelah menghabiskan dua tahun di sana mempelajari bahasa Hindustan mistik timur, Tamil, Sansekerta, Melayu antara lain, berlayar Malaya pada tahun 1805 di mana dia berteman dengan Stamford Raffles muda pada Prince of Wales Island (Pulau Penang). Raffles sekretaris asisten Gubernur Penang, Philip Dundas, pada waktu itu.

Pada 1811, Lord Minto Leiden bergabung dalam ekspedisi ke Jawa. Leiden jatuh ke Batavia Demam terkenal (epidemi pada waktu itu, itu mungkin malaria atau demam berdarah) setelah memasuki sebuah perpustakaan (yang dikatakan telah terkandung Timur banyak manuskrip) tanpa tempat benar ditayangkan pertama. Setelah tiga hari sakit, ia meninggal pada tanggal 28 Agustus 1811.

prasati  Kuburan yang menarik  disekitarnya

Sementara makam Olivia Raffles mungkin lebih penting bagi kita, ada makam yang lebih menarik di sekitar Taman Prasasti yang layak mengambil melihat. Meskipun misi kecil saya selesai, saya bertekad untuk mencari makam biasa lebih untuk kesempatan foto di daerah tersebut.

Makam Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser

Berdiri seperti sebuah monumen besar, makam Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser menara di atas kuburan di sekitarnya.

Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser, seorang pejabat pemerintah Hindia Belanda, lahir di Semarang (sekarang-hari Semarang di Jawa Tengah) pada 11 Juli 1800 dan meninggal pada 4 Januari 1857 di Batavia. Dia adalah mantan residen Belanda Pasuruan (di Jawa Timur, dekat ke kota Surabaya), dan dia juga diberikan gelar dan Ordo Singa Belanda, perintah Belanda diberikan kepada individu-individu terkemuka dari semua lapisan masyarakat, termasuk jenderal , menteri, walikota, para ilmuwan terkemuka, industrialis dan pegawai negeri sipil peringkat tinggi, antara lain.

Batu nisannya memiliki prasasti sebagai berikut:

Dirk Anthonius
DI Leven
VAN DER Ridder orde DEN Neder
Samarang DEN 11DEN Juli 1800
DEN 4DEN Januari 1857


Ke memori
Dirk Anthonius
Meninggal dalam BATAVIA
PADA 4 Januari 1857

Sebuah tinggi-bantuan seperangkat alat-alat pertanian secara jelas ditampilkan pada wajah depan makam Dirk Varkevisser, di antara mereka seorang penggemar menampi digunakan dalam sabit menampi angin, dan sabit untuk tanaman panen, sekop untuk menggali bumi dan banyak alat berbagai macam lain yang digunakan untuk pertanian dan budidaya tanah. Hal ini karena sebagai Residen Belanda Pasuruan, Varkevisser mengawasi budidaya tanaman komersial banyak, yang termasuk tebu sangat menguntungkan, dan dia juga bertanggung jawab atas produksi gula. Tanaman ini, yang secara signifikan lebih murah untuk menanam di Jawa, kemudian diangkut kembali ke Belanda pada kapal-kapal besar untuk memenuhi permintaan dari penduduk Belanda pulang.

Monumen patung batu nisan Varkevisser adalah bagian yang cukup menakjubkan seni yang telah terpelihara dengan baik sejak 1857 sampai hari ini, suatu prestasi besar dan kuat mengingat bahwa makam hampir satu abad dan setengah tua.

Makam Keluarga borjuis Keluarga Delben van

Ini makam yang unik, yang berbentuk seperti rumah kecil, adalah makam keluarga untuk keluarga van kaya kaum borjuis Delben. Kepala keluarga Delben van itu Ambrosius Johannes van Wilbrordus Delben.







Selama transformasi pemakaman ke Taman Prasasti Museum, makam dibuka dan para pekerja menemukan mayat mumi dari keluarga Delben van disimpan di dalam makam. Tubuh telah sejak dihapus dan makam saat ini digunakan sebagai gudang penyimpanan untuk museum.

Tidak ada yang tahu dimana tubuh mumi saat ini. Mereka akan sangat mungkin telah dibawa kembali ke Belanda atau dikubur di pemakaman lain di Jakarta untuk membuat jalan bagi museum.

Kisah Tragis dari Pieter Elberfeld

Kebanyakan orang yang mengunjungi Taman Prasasti Museum akan tertarik dengan melihat sebuah peringatan dihiasi dengan pemandangan yang mengerikan, sebuah tengkorak manusia pearched pada sebuah tombak tegak. Ini peringatan luar biasa milik Pieter Elberfeld, seorang pemberontak yang brutal dipotong oleh pemerintah Belanda karena pengkhianatan tinggi.

Lahir di Jawa pada tahun 1663 dari ayah Jerman dan ibu Jawa, Pieter Elberfeld adalah salah satu yang menempel pada ide-ide asli dan adat istiadat, yang kemudian membawanya menjadi seorang patriot antusias dan berani. Dia membenci Belanda dan semua terhubung dengan mereka dan diselesaikan pada pemusnahan setiap Belanda dari tanah Jawa.

Ketika ayahnya meninggal, Pieter Elberfeld mewarisi perkebunan besar dari ayahnya. Pemerintah VOC, di bawah perintah kemudian Gubernur Jenderal Hendrick Zwaardecroon, menjalankan otoritas superior mereka dengan mengklaim bagian dari warisan. Marah dengan memindahkan mereka, Elberfeld datang dengan sebuah rencana untuk membunuh pejabat tinggi VOC. Sayangnya, sebelum ia bisa melaksanakan rencananya, keponakannya – yang telah jatuh cinta dengan seorang pejabat Belanda dari VOC – tumpah kacang pada pamannya. Pemerintah kemudian menangkapnya basah di tengah-tengah pertemuan rahasia dan memenjarakannya segera. Setelah berjam-jam penyiksaan, Elberfeld mengaku rencananya dan dijatuhi hukuman mati bersama dengan 19 dari budak-budaknya.

Hukuman itu sangat kejam, bahkan untuk standar waktu itu. Dia terikat ke belakang untuk salib, dipenggal dan tubuhnya dipotong dalam empat potong (dan tidak dipotong-potong oleh kuda sebagai populer digambarkan) Empat potongan tubuhnya digantung di empat perempat kota dan hukuman serupa diberikan kepada-Nya kaki. Dia adalah 59 tahun pada waktu itu.

Elberfeld rumah, yang terletak di luar kota itu, dihancurkan dan schandmuur (dinding malu) didirikan di tempatnya. Kepala Elberfeld itu ditetapkan mencolok atas atas tombak untuk melayani sebagai peringatan ke seluruh Batavia. Seiring waktu, hanya tengkorak yang tersisa. Saat itu tebal menempel ke melindunginya dari pengaruh waktu dan cuaca.

Para Schandmuur – Circa 1885
Creative Commons – Tropenmuseum

Langsung di bawah tengkorak terpaku, tablet bantalan prasasti panjang setelah di Belanda bisa ditemukan:

Uik eene verfoeyelyke gedachtenise tegen den gestraften landverrader, Pieter Elberfeld, Zal niemaud vermogen ter dezer plaatse untuk boumen, Simmeren, metselem, planten. IIU, dari tenccurrige, dage. Batavia, den 22 April 1722.

Terjemahan berjalan kira-kira seperti ini:

Sebagai konsekuensi dari memori dibenci Pieter Elberfeld, yang dihukum karena pengkhianatan, tidak seorang pun diizinkan untuk membangun di kayu, atau batu, atau untuk menanam sesuatu apapun di dasar ini, dari waktu sebagainya selama-lamanya. Batavia, 22 April 1722

Jalan tempat eksekusi Pieter Elberfeld itu berlangsung sekarang dikenal sebagai Jalan Pecah Kulit atau “Skin Jalan Ruptur”, nama mengerikan yang paling menggambarkan sejarah tempat itu. Para Schandmuur, bersama-sama dengan tengkorak di tombak besi, kemudian bergeser ke Taman Prasasti sebelum membuka museum. Dari foto lama Schandmuur dan yang terakhir saya mengambil di Taman Prasasti, Anda bisa melihat bahwa langkah-langkah besar dilakukan untuk menghapus dinding asli dari lokasi aslinya ke museum.

Patung Lady lain Menangis

Selain Kecantikan Menangis, patung menangis kedua wanita dapat ditemukan lebih lanjut dalam taman. Serupa dengan Kecantikan Menangis, patung ini dipahat dalam gaya Renaisans juga dan ada juga ada prasasti yang terlihat untuk mengatakan siapa kuburan milik.

 Hal khusus tentang makam ini adalah penggunaan karang di fabrikasi nya. Wanita menangis terlihat bersandar ke sebuah gundukan batu yang terbuat dari batu diplester dan karang. Dapatkah Anda melihat mereka?

Makam dengan The Doric Kolom Patah

Makam ini dihiasi dengan kolom Doric rusak (seperti yang di pintu masuk Taman Prasasti) yang mengingatkan saya dari arsitektur Yunani kuno digunakan untuk Parthenon. Sebuah karangan bunga pahatan di sekitar kolom untuk meminjamkan suasana prestise ke makam. Ini adalah tempat peristirahatan terakhir bagi seorang wanita bernama CM van Os, yang menurut prasasti pada batu nisan itu, adalah istri tercinta dari IHR Goedhart.


Alfa Misterius – Omega Grave

Ada terletak sebuah makam, yang besar lebar tidak terlalu jauh dari Dirk Varkevisser. Makam ini tampak jauh lebih luas daripada makam lain di museum, dan memiliki abjad Yunani yang berbeda A (Alpha) dan Ω (Omega) tertulis di atasnya. Ini adalah huruf pertama dan terakhir dari alfabet Yunani. Dalam Kitab Wahyu, Yesus Kristus menunjukkan dirinya sebagai Alpha dan Omega, melambangkan awal dan akhir dari semua ciptaan.


Di atas alfabet Yunani, Latin Ayat berbunyi:


Ini sebenarnya bagian dari sebuah ayat dari Alkitab, yang diterjemahkan menjadi sebagai berikut:

Ingat orang-orang yang memimpin Anda, yang berbicara firman Allah kepada Anda, dan mempertimbangkan hasil dari perilaku mereka, contohlah iman mereka. – Ibrani 13:07

Dulu ada sebuah bola batu di kedua sisi makam, namun seperti yang Anda lihat pada gambar di bawah, ruang di sebelah kanan telah copot dan sekarang terletak rusak di lantai makam.

Para penghuni (ya, ada 2 penghuni) makam harus telah Katolik memang sangat saleh. Terlepas dari Alpha – Omega referensi dan ayat Alkitab dalam bahasa Latin, simbol religius yang dikenal sebagai Chi Rho Salib juga dapat ditemukan di tengah kuburan.



Dua huruf pertama dari nama Kristus dalam bahasa Yunani adalah X dan P. Dalam X alfabet Yunani diucapkan sebagai Chi dan P adalah diucapkan sebagai Rho, maka nama Chi Rho Cross.


.para pastor batavia


 Pastor van der Grinten adalah pendeta kepala Gereja Katolik Batavia – gereja Katolik pertama di Batavia – yang terletak di sudut Lapangan Banteng (alun-alun terbuka yang luas terletak di daerah kantong Eropa dan sebelumnya dikenal sebagai Waterloopein). Itu dibangun di atas kediaman mantan Hindia Belanda komandan militer Hendrik Merkus de Kock (yang kemudian dibuat Baron untuk kemenangannya atas Pangeran Diponegoro dalam perang Jawa).

Gereja ini diresmikan pada tanggal 6 November 1829 dan diberkati oleh pendeta kepala pada waktu itu, Pastor L. Prinsen, sebagai “Gereja Our Lady of Asumsi”. Ini diukur 35 panjang 17 meter lebar, terdiri dari sebuah aula besar dengan deretan pilar di kedua sisi dalam gaya neo-gothic, gaya arsitektur yang umum untuk gereja-gereja pada saat itu. Pastor van der Grinten tinggal di kediaman pastor di sayap timur gereja, sementara koster tinggal di sayap barat.

Gereja berdiri sampai 9 April 1890 ketika runtuh karena usia tua dan pemeliharaan yang buruk. Sebuah gereja baru dibangun kembali di tempatnya antara 1891 dan 1901 dan hari ini berdiri sebagai Katedral Jakarta. Gereja diakui sebagai alat integral untuk penyebaran Katolik Roma di Jawa selama abad ke-19


In the northwestern corner of Taman Prasasti, I came across a magnificent tomb which could fit right into Transylvania like a glove. This gothic looking tomb belongs to Major General J. J. Perie,  the Commander of the 1st Groote Militaire Afdeeling (literally the Great Military Division) in Java.  During his illustrious career with the military, he was knighted and conferred with the 4th Order of the Militaire Willems-Orde (Military Order of William), the oldest and highest honour of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This chivalric order was often presented to senior military officers in recognition of their feats of bravery on the battlefield and as a meritorious decoration. The receipient of several awards during his lifetime, Major General Perie was also awarded the Order of the Netherlands Lion.



english version 

A weathered bronze cannon stood in front of the sign, pointing in the direction of the road that ran adjacent to the cemetery. A glimpse of Batavia’s colonial past, perhaps? This had to be the place, I thought to myself.


I looked to my left and a grand looking portico, adorned with beautiful columns on both sides, greeted my sight. There was an iron gate guarding the entrance, and beyond that gate, I could make out more than a handful of headstones plastered on standing columns in an open space.

There was a collection of age-old tombstones plastered on the walls of the colonnaded portico and this gave the entire place an archaic feel. As I got nearer to the entrance, I was intrigued by the sign above the gate, which displayed the Latin words in the following order:



Having absolutely no knowledge of the arcane language that is Latin, I managed to piece the words on the inscription together and ended up with the following loose (and possibly very bad) translation:

This serves as a monument to house the relics
of the dilapidated old sacred temple of Batavia.

In the mid 19th century, the majority of the Dutch people in both the Netherlands and their colonies were staunch Roman Catholics. Displayed above the entrance to a cemetery which was predominantly Dutch, it made some sense that the sign was inscribed in Latin. It also prompted me to dig deeper into the history of the cemetery.

Taman Prasasti was first established as the 5.5 hectare Kerkhoflaan (Cemetery Lane in Dutch) in 1795 and the locals called it Kebun Jahe Kober. One of the oldest cemeteries in this part of the world, it was built following a massive disease outbreak which killed many in Batavia.  Apart from this, Kerkhoflaan was meant to supplement the cemeteries of the De Nieuw Hollandsche Kerk (The New Holland Church, which presently houses the Wayang Museum) located in the Stadhuisplein (City Hall Square), and the De Nieuwe Potugeesche Buitenkerk (now the Zion church) located in the southeastern part of Batavia. Both cemeteries had been filled up and the Dutch Government had to look for an alternate burial ground in anticipation of the rapid growth of the Dutch population in Batavia.


A rouwbord or mourning shield was a common Dutch practice. It displayed the lifetime achievements of the deceased and was hung over the door of the deceased’s house and later on the wall of the church where he or she was buried.

Kerkhoflaan’s location was chosen after much consideration, and it is strategically placed due to its proximity to the Kali Krukut river. In the olden days, the dead were – along with the grieving family and friends – transported in small boats from the Binnen Hospital (present day Bank of Indonesia Museum) in the north along the Kali Krukut and travelled down south to Kerkhoflaan, where the hearse would be transferred onto dry land to a horse-drawn carriage at the present location of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics. The hearse would  travel a short distance on road to Kerkhoflaan for the final rites before the body is finally buried at the cemetery.

Kerkhoflaan was the burial ground for Dutch nobles and several high ranking officials of the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische CompagnieDutch East India Company) where they were laid to rest by their families and relatives. The general public were allowed to buried there much later but a certain fee had to be paid. Following its proclaimation of independence from the Netherlands in 1945, the Indonesian Government sealed off the cemetery in 1975 as it had ran out of space.

Morbid, but that’s how we all end up one day.

During this time, all the bodies buried underneath the cemetery were either moved to other cemeteries (i.e the cemetery in Menteng Pulo) or brought back to the Netherlands by their living relatives, leaving the tombstones behind. The original cemetery was also shrunk into a 1.3 hectare site as part of the new Central Jakarta Mayor’s office was built on the former cemetery grounds. The cemetery was reopened to the public as a museum on 9 July 1977 by the then-Governor of Jakarta, Ali Sadikin. A plaque is displayed on a small monolith located near to the entrance to commemorate this move by the Government.

The monolith at Taman Prasasti bearing Governor Ali Sadikin’s message and signature.
He signs off with his military rank – Lieutenant General of the TNI* Marine Corps
TNI – Tentara Nasional Indonesia (The Indonesian National Armed Forces)

The main building which I was standing in was built in 1844 with a doric column order favoured by the Dorians, one of two Greek races. It was known as the Balairung Building and it had two wings on either side which functioned as ceremonial halls for the final rites before the burial was carried out. The hall on the right wing was used for female bodies, while the other one on the left was used for male bodies.

As I stepped through the gates to the cemetery, I was greeted by neat rows of columns adorned with old tombstones. It seems that the people behind the refurbishment project had chosen some tombstones to be set in concrete pillars. Most of the inscriptions of the tombstones displayed on these pillars were still legible. I was told that those tombstones on display were selected due to their witty inscriptions and the deeper meanings behind them. One such tombstone had the well written verse inscribed in Dutch with the striking words:


which translates to

Like you are now, I was before. And like I am now, thus you will be one day


The pillars at the entrance are all numbered and arranged neatly.

To the left of the tombstone pillars, i noticed a peculiar sight. There was a bell sitting atop a metal pole and the bell was attached to a rope, which visitors could pull. However, I think not many would know that this bell was in fact used in the past by the cemetery workers to inform all the staff that a new body had just arrived. A worker, upon sighting the arrival of the hearse, would ring the bell by pulling the rope and all the staff would prepare the necessary items for the final rites in the respective wing of the Balairung Building. I’m pretty sure that the many visitors who rang the bell in jest would be shocked to find out the real purpose of this “death bell”.

The “death bell” of Taman Prasasti. Think twice before you pull that rope.

I moved further inward, eager to locate Olivia Raffles’ tomb. However, as I looked around, i realized that the cemetery was more complicated than I had expected. I was hoping to see tombs arranged in neat grass lawns with a couple of odd-shaped tombs like the ones in Petamburan. That would have made my search much easier. However, this was not to be. Taman Prasasti was a sprawling cemetery park with tombs that were haphazardly placed. There were tombs of different shapes and sizes everywhere. I did not know where to start. It was a total nightmare.

Fallen frangipani flowers, commonly associated with the Pontianak, can be found in abundance near to the entrance. There are no “fatimah rockers” to be found here though.

The Weeping Beauty

Going by my instinct, I decided to move in a clockwise direction to comb the area. As soon as I set off on my search, a distinctive grave with a distinctive cover caught my eye almost immediately. The grave cover took the form of a sad lady lying on the ground with her head buried in her hands, depicting the poignant moment of a loved one departing from this world. I like to call this lady the Weeping Beauty.

Apparently this is a very well-known grave with a back-story to the statue of the Weeping Beauty. It is said that the grave was build to illustrate the pain of a newly-wedded lady whose husband succumbed to malaria. Unable to take the pain, the lady committed suicide. Unfortunately, there were no inscriptions on the grave to give any clues to the Weeping Beauty’s true identity.

The Tomb of Dr. H.F Roll

A stone’s throw away from the Weeping Beauty, an open book carved out of stone lies atop the grave of Dr. H.F. Roll. Dr. Roll was the founder and director of the STOVIA medical school, which evolved into the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Indonesia today.

In 1851, the Dutch colonial government decided to establish a school to train native medical assistants. The training for each person lasted for two years and graduates were certified to provide simple and basic medical treatments. The degree conferred to the graduates was Dokter Djawa or “Javanese Doctor” as they were certified to only practice medicine in the Dutch East Indies, especially so on the island of Java. Soon, the program became more comprehensive and by 1875, the program had reached 7 years in length. Graduates were entitled to the more established degree of Medical Doctor. Then, the quantum leap came in 1898, when the government established a entirely new medical school named STOVIA to train medical doctors.

STOVIA stood for the School Tot Opleiding Van Inlandsche Artsen or “Training School for Native Doctors” located in the Hospitaalweg (literally Hospital Road) in Batavia. Many STOVIA graduates later played important roles during Indonesia’s national movement towards their proclaimation of independence, as well as in developing medical education in Indonesia as a whole.

Dr Roll can be seen conducting a lecture to a group of native doctor trainees in this old photo taken in 1902 (link) where he is seated on the left. He can also be seen seated in the middle of this photo of the staff members of STOVIA (link).

True to his roots, the stone book on Dr. Roll’s grave illustrates his wisdom and relentless pursuit of medical academic excellence when he still was alive.

His inscription reads:

27 MAY 1867 – 20 SEPT. 1935



Below the inscription of Dr. H.F Roll’s name, I found the name of another person from the Roll family who was buried with him. The (translated) inscription below says:

20 MAR. 1920 – 15 JAN. 1940
I’m guessing that this was probably Dr. Roll’s son, seeing that they share the same surname. There is not much information about Frits Roll, except that he was a medical student and died before his 20th birthday. A chip off the old block, perhaps?


At the bottom of the grave cover, the following Latin inscription can be found:

                                                              OVID FAST IV 311
This is an inspiring message which translates to:
                       A clear conscience triumphs over false lies.
                                                             Ovid’s Fasti IV 311

Ovid was an early Roman poet who lived during the reign of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. This quote was taken from the fourth book of Ovid’s Fasti, a six book collection of Latin elegiac poems.

The broken jar you see in the picture above used to decorate the foot of the grave. However, it’s a pity to see that it has been broken into two pieces probably through the work of some vandal.

The Japanese Memorial

As this was a cemetery for the Dutch and other Europeans, I was most surprised to see a Japanese tomb as I continued my stroll. As I approached the tombstone, I was greeted by a headstone inscribed in Kanji.

The tombstone was in fact a monument for the 30 brave Japanese soldiers from Shibata City, Niigata Prefacture, who fought for the 19th Company, 16th Battalion, 2nd Division of the Imperial Japanese Army. The entire company perished in the Ciantung River in Bogor in 1942 when the Japanese invaded the Dutch East Indies. The Japanese people who live in Jakarta come to this monument twice a year to perform a ceremonial ritual as a mark of respect for the deceased.


The ranks and names of the deceased are engraved on a stone plaque below the tombstone.

The Hearse Carriage

Back in the days when the Kali Krukut river was still used to transport dead bodies from the Binnen Hospital, the horse-drawn hearse carriage was commonly used to transfer the bodies from the river bank to the Balairung Building in preparation for the burial.

The wealth and social status of the deceased is often reflected in the number of horses pulling the carriage into the cemetery. The more wealthier or famous a person was, the more horses would be pulling their hearse. As the hearse carriage made its way to the gates of Kerkhoflaan, a cemetery worker would ring the bell to inform everyone of its arrival. The funeral administrators would prepare themselves when they heard the bell ringing, and the person ringing the bell would continue until the hearse arrived at the gate proper.

Today, a replica of the hearse carriage is displayed in a display shed located at a corner of Taman Prasasti.

The hearse was not encased in glass in the yesteryears. The glass panels were installed
on this replica to prevent the public from climbing inside the carriage.


A ramp to help the carriage up to its display shed.

The Legend of Captain Jas

There is a particular tomb which is believed to have the power to grant prosperity, happiness and fertility to those who visit it. The occupant of this seemingly supernatural grave goes by the name Kapiten Jas (Captain Jas). However, the identity of the person who was buried there remains a true mystery. The tomb is well-known for having a strong fragrance of burning incense surrounding it even though there evidently wasn’t any incense that was being offered in the area.

When I first stumbled upon the tomb of Captain Jas, I initially thought it was a storage area for “lost and found” items in the cemetery. Imagine my shock when I read the stone inscription and realised that I had found his “tomb”. I didn’t catch a whiff of the “infamous” incense smell though, and the air remained odorless the whole time I was there. Wrong time, maybe? It was also pretty unusual to see  that a tree has grown on top of a part of the grave.

Apart from the statue of Jesus Christ, jars and cross which were found lying on top of the grave, a small stone plate is affixed to a corner of the tomb. It says:





And the (very loose) translation goes something like this:



From this inscription, it seems that many of those who visit this grave actually place a huge amount of true faith in Captain Jas’s powers. The words chosen for the inscription depicts just how much “Father Jas” is believed to be a vassal of God and one who was able to send messages on behalf of the believer.

Here lies Captain Jas.

The name Kapiten Jas can be traced back to the Jassenkerk, a Portuguese church which was located near to the cemetery.  In the mid 1600s, many people were buried in a cemetery near the guardhouse located on the eastern side of the Jassen Bridge, a wooden drawbridge which ran across a tributary of the Ciliwung River. This tributary was an important part of southern Batavia’s infrastructure as it helped to direct excess water into the Stadsbuitengracht, a large open drainage canal located outside the city walls.

 In 1676, a Roman Catholic church, built completely out of bamboo, was erected near to the cemetery. Due to its proximity to the Jassen Bridge, it was simply named the Jassenkerk (Jassen Church) and the cemetery was assimilated into the churchyard. The whole “Captain Jas” fiasco is believed to be a simple figure of speech where people described death and burial as “naar het land Jackets Captain von gaan” or “going to the land of Captain Jas.

Later on, some of the bodies buried in the Jassenkerk churchyard were relocated to Kerkhoflaan. Therefore, it is widely believed that the headstone bearing the name of Captain Jas in Taman Prasasti was really just a memorial of the Jassenkerk churchyard itself, and that this imaginary person – Captain Jas – did not really exist, nor was anyone really buried beneath the headstone. The accounts of people who claim to have the strange olfactory experience with the supernatural smell of burning incense around the grave can probably relate it to the use of incense during worship in the Jassenkerk when it was still around. The bamboo church has since been removed and replaced by the Zion Church.


In another version of the legend of Captain Jas, it is said that a strange incident happened when this grave was dug. The workers found that coffin that was so tightly intertwined with the roots of the tree growing beside it, it was impossible to remove the coffin. The word soon spread like wildfire and many people began to visit this strange grave. Many who visited the grave claimed that they experienced a big change in their lives. Those who were poor became significantly wealthier, while childless couples also managed to conceive successfully after visiting the grave.

Both versions of Captain Jas’s legend seem to conflict each other. One version states that he does not exist, while the other involves the discovery of his coffin below the grave. However, despite this cloud of uncertainty which surrounds the legend of Captain Jas, many still flock to the tomb, eager to seek fertility, safety, prosperity or happiness.

This is a true mystery which remains to be solved.

Could this be Olivia’s tomb?

As I continued walking along the pathway, I noticed a large tomb near to Captain Jas’s grave. The grave was resting on top of a octagonal staircase and it was surrounded by 8 short columns. The first thing that struck me was the black staircase and white columns. This colour scheme was much akin to the British colonial “black & white” Tudor houses that we have in Singapore. Could this be Olivia Mariamne Raffles’ tomb?



I climbed up the steps eagerly, wanting to read the inscription atop the grave to confirm my assumption. However, the inscriptions on the tombstone itself had been badly weathered and it would be a real challenge to read the inscriptions without smearing some chalk onto the tombstone. However, not only did I not have any chalk with me, I did not think it would be very nice to start applying chalk over all the tombs which I simply assumed belonged to Lady Raffles!


 The top of the gravestone may have faded with time, but i could still make out the faint inscription on it.

The inscription reads:

to the Memory of
Wife of
Lieutenant Governor 
And its Dependancies
Who departed this life
The 26th day of November 1814

BINGO! The sweat, mosquito bites and fatigue was worth it. This tomb here is an important piece of history not only to the Javanese people, but also to us as Raffles went on from Java to found Singapore. Any tiredness I had felt before had instantaneously disappeared. Here it was, right before my eyes, a fragment of our colonial past.

I went around the tomb with renewed vigour, snapping away as I circled the majestic final resting place of Olivia Mariamne Raffles. Thoughts filled up my mind. What if Olivia Raffles did not fall victim to her illness during her stay in Java? What if she had followed Raffles to Singapore? What changes would she have implemented as the First Lady of the founder of Singapore? So many what-ifs popped into my mind. It was simply fascinating.

On the front of the tomb, there was a small plate which was added much later (probably by the curator) to help identify the tomb as well.

I found the inscription amusing as the words “Keterangan: Bentuk Kijing” on the plate actually meant “Description: The Shape of a Gravestone“. It also depicts the year that the grave was completed (1814), the inventory number (probably as a record for the museum) and most importantly the name of the grave’s occupant.

While setting up my tripod for this shot below, I noticed that the Central Jakarta Mayor’s office was the backdrop of my photo. Olivia Mariamne Raffles’ tomb was one of the closest ones in proximity to the Mayor’s office. Since this newer building was built over what was originally part the former cemetery grounds, the cemetery’s boundary would have extended far beyond the reaches of the Mayor’s Office.


You may compare Olivia Mariamne Raffles’s grave with the memorial Sir Stamford Raffles built for her in near the Lieutenant-Governor’s palace in Buitenzorg (present-day Kebun Raya Bogor) below.  You may click to enlarge the photos or view the full set here.

There was boisterous singing and clapping coming from a group of people who were dressed in similar clothing within the grounds of the mayor’s office, breaking the silence in the cemetery. A group of government servants having some sort of team-building activity, maybe?

I stood back and looked at the eight short columns surrounding the tomb. Although they look like they were built to symbolize the cardinal points of the compass, these columns were actually part of a Dutch church.When the church was deemed too old and unsafe to be used anymore, the stone from the church was reused to decorate the tomb of Olivia Mariamne Raffles. The eight columns, which used to support the old church’s roof, were then shortened and placed around the tomb as an ornament.

The tomb of John Casper Leyden, the Scottish writer, doctor, poet and brilliant oriental linguist who was a close friend of the Raffleses, lies in close proximity to Olivia Raffles’s tomb as well.

John Leyden and Olivia Raffles had often exchanged letters and poetry with each other and he was well known to be a bosom friend of Sir Stamford Raffles and a confidant of the couple. The two had met when Leyden, who left British India after spending two years there studying the mystic eastern languages of Hindustani, Tamil, Sanskrit, Malay among others, set sail for Malaya in 1805 where he befriended a young Stamford Raffles on Prince of Wales Island (Pulau Penang). Raffles was the assistant secretary to the Governor of Penang, Philip Dundas, at that time.

In 1811, Leyden joined Lord Minto in the expedition to Java. Leyden fell to the infamous Batavian Fever (an epidemic at that time, it was possibly malaria or dengue) after entering a library (which was said to have contained many Eastern manuscripts) without having the place properly aired first. After three days of illness, he died on 28 August 1811.

More Fascinating Tombs Around Taman Prasasti

While Olivia Raffles’s tomb may be of more significance to us, there are many more interesting tombs around Taman Prasasti which are worth taking a look at. Although my little mission was complete, I was determined to seek out more unusual tombs for photo opportunities in the area.

The Tomb of Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser

Standing like a grand monument, the tomb of Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser towers over the tombs in the vicinity.


Dirk Anthonius Varkevisser, an official of the Dutch East Indies government, was born in Samarang (present-day Semarang in Central Java) on 11th July 1800 and passed away on 4th January 1857 in Batavia. He was the former Dutch resident of Pasuruan (in east Java, near to the city of Surabaya), and he was also knighted and conferred the Order of the Netherlands Lion, a Dutch order awarded to eminent individuals from all walks of life, including generals, ministers, mayors, leading scientists, industrialists and high ranking civil servants, among others.

His tombstone has the following inscription:





A high-relief set of agricultural tools is prominently displayed on the front face of Dirk Varkevisser’s tomb, among them a winnow fan used in wind winnowing, scythes and sickles for harvesting crops, a spade for digging the earth and many other assorted tools used for farming and soil cultivation. This is because as the Dutch Resident of Pasuruan, Varkevisser oversaw the cultivation of many cash crops, which included the highly profitable sugar cane, and he was also in charge of the production of sugar. These crops, which were significantly cheaper to cultivate in Java, were then transported back to the Netherlands in large ships to meet the demand of the Dutch population back home.

The sculptural monument of Varkevisser’s tombstone is a simply stunning piece of art which has been well preserved since 1857 until the present day, a hefty feat considering that the tomb is almost a century and a half old.

The Bourgeois Family Tomb of The van Delben Family

This unique mausoleum, which is shaped like a small house, was a family tomb for the wealthy  bourgeoisie van Delben family. The head of the van Delben family was Ambrosius Johannes Wilbrordus van Delben.

During the transformation of the cemetery into the Taman Prasasti Museum, the mausoleum was opened up and the workers found the mummified bodies of the van Delben family stored inside the crypt. The bodies have since been removed and the mausoleum is currently used as a storage shed for the museum.

No one knows where the mummified bodies are presently. They would have most probably been brought back to the Netherlands or buried in another cemetery in Jakarta to make way for the museum.


The Tragic Story of Pieter Elberfeld

Most people who visit the Taman Prasasti Museum would be intrigued by the sight of a memorial decorated with a macabre sight, a human skull pearched upon an upright spear. This uncanny memorial belongs to Pieter Elberfeld, a rebel who was brutally quartered by the Dutch government for high treason.

Born in Java in the year 1663 to a German father and a Javanese mother, Pieter Elberfeld was one who clung to native ideas and customs, which subsequently led him to become an enthusiastic and daring patriot. He hated the Dutch and all connected with them and resolved on the extermination of every Dutchman from the soil of Java.

When his father died, Pieter Elberfeld inherited a huge estate from his father. The VOC government, under the orders of then Governor-General Hendrick Zwaardecroon, exercised their superior authority by claiming a part of the estate. Incensed by their move, Elberfeld came up with a plan to kill the higher ranking officials of the VOC. Alas, before he could carry out his plan, his niece – who had fell in love with a Dutch official from the VOC – spilled the beans on her uncle. The government then caught him red-handed in the midst of a secret meeting and imprisoned him immediately. After hours of torture, Elberfeld confessed to his plans and was sentenced to death along with 19 of his slaves.

The punishment was very cruel, even for the standards of that time. He was bound backward to a cross, decapitated and his body was cut in four pieces (and not quartered by horses as popularly depicted) The four pieces of his body were hung in the four quarters of the city and the similar punishment was administered to his accomplices. He was 59 years old at that time.

Elberfeld’s house, which was located outside the city then, was demolished and a schandmuur (wall of shame) was erected in its place. Elberfeld’s head was set conspicuously upon a top of a pike to serve as a warning to the rest of Batavia. Over time, only the skull was left. It was then thickly plastered over to protect it from the influence of time and weather.


The Schandmuur – Circa 1885
Creative Commons – Tropenmuseum

Immediately below the transfixed skull, a tablet bearing the following long inscription in the Dutch can be found:

Uik eene verfoeyelyke gedachtenise tegen den gestraften landverrader, Pieter Elberfeld, zal niemaud vermogen ter dezer plaatse to boumen, Simmeren, metselem, planten. iiu, of tenccurrige, dage. Batavia, den 22nd April, 1722.

The translation goes roughly like this:

In consequence of the detested memory of Pieter Elberfeld, who was punished for treason, no one shall be permitted to build in wood, or stone, or to plant anything whatsoever in these grounds, from this time forth for evermore. Batavia, 22nd April, 1722

The street where Pieter Elberfeld’s execution took place is now known as Jalan Pecah Kulit or “Ruptured Skin Street”, a morbid name which best describes the history of the place. The Schandmuur, together with the skull on the iron pike, was then shifted to Taman Prasasti prior to the museum’s opening. From the old photo of the Schandmuur and the recent one I took at Taman Prasasti, you could see that great measures were taken to remove the original wall from its original location to the museum.

Another Weeping Lady Statue

Apart from the Weeping Beauty, a second weeping lady statue can be found further in the park. Similar to the Weeping Beauty, this statue is sculptured in the Renaissance style too and there are also no visible inscriptions to tell us who the grave belongs to.

The special thing about this tomb is the usage of corals in its fabrication. The weeping lady is seen leaning onto a rock mound made out of plastered rocks and corals. Can you spot them?

The Tomb with The Broken Doric Column


This tomb is decorated with a broken doric column (like the ones at the entrance of Taman Prasasti) which reminded me of the ancient Greek architecture used for the Parthenon. A wreath is sculptured around the column to lend an air of prestige to the tomb. It was the final resting place for a lady named C.M van Os, which according to the inscription on the headstone, was the beloved wife of I. H. R. Goedhart.

The Mysterious Alpha – Omega Grave

There lies a large, wide tomb not too far away from Dirk Varkevisser. This tomb is visibly much wider than any other tomb in the museum, and it has the distinct Greek alphabets A (Alpha) and Ω (Omega) inscribed on it. These are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. In the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ refers to himself as the Alpha and the Omega, symbolizing the beginning and the end of all creation.

Above the Greek alphabets, a Latin Verse reads:


This is in fact a part of a verse from the Bible, which translates into the following:

Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. – Hebrews 13:7

There used to be a stone sphere on either side of the tomb, but as you can see in the picture below, the sphere on the right had been dislodged and now lies broken on the grave floor.


The occupants (yes,there were 2 occupants) of the tomb must have been very pious Catholics indeed. Apart from the Alpha – Omega reference and the biblical verse in Latin, a religious symbol known as the Chi Rho Cross can also be found in the centre of the grave.

The first two letters of Christ’s name in Greek are X and P. In the Greek alphabet X is pronounced as Chi and P is pronounced as Rho, hence the name Chi Rho Cross. These two letters are usually inscribed as one over the other and enclosed within a circle, thus becoming both a cosmic and a solar symbol. Although not technically a cross, the Chi Rho invokes the crucifixion of Jesus as well as symbolizing his status as the Christ.

The occupants of this grave also happen to be strange bedfellows, in my opinion. On the left, we have the following inscription:


11 SEP 1860
11 SEP 1860

It seems that one of the tomb’s occupants, Mabisa, was a native Javanese lady married to a Dutchman named H. Lastdrager. While I was logically expecting to see the tombstone of Mabisa’s husband on the right side of the tomb, I was totally perplexed to see the following inscription instead:


CEB: te BERN 1830
OVERL: 13 JULI 1886

BORN in BERN 1830
DEC: 13 JULY 1886

Who was this A. Schultheiss? Schultheiss is a last name of German origin, which made sense for this gentleman since he was born in Bern, the capital of Switzerland. How was he related to the Lastdragers, and why is he being buried next to Mabisa instead of her husband? A real puzzle, indeed.

The Pastor of Batavia

The tomb of H. van der Grinten, the head pastor of Batavia between 1847 – 1848, is also located in Taman Prasasti. Among the hundreds of gravestones, his benevolent statue cuts a fine figure.

Father van der Grinten was the head pastor of the Catholic Church of Batavia – the first Catholic church in Batavia – located at the corner of Lapangan Banteng (a large open square situated in an European enclave and formerly known as Waterloopein). It was built over the former residence of the Dutch East Indies military commander General Hendrik Merkus de Kock (who later was made Baron for his triumph over Prince Diponegoro in the Java war).

The church was inaugurated on 6 November 1829 and blessed by the head pastor at that time, Father L. Prinsen,  as “The Church of Our Lady of Assumption”. It measured 35 long by 17 metres wide, consisted of a large hall with rows of pillars on either side in the neo-gothic style, a common architectural style for churches at the time. Father van der Grinten lived in the priest’s residence on the east wing of the church, while the sacristan lived in the west wing.

The church stood until 9 April 1890 when it collapsed due to old age and poor maintenance. A new church was rebuilt in its place between 1891 and 1901 and today it stands as the Jakarta Cathedral. The church is acknowledged as an integral instrument for the spread of Roman Catholicism in Java during the 19th century.

The inscription on Father van der Grinten’s tomb reads:


1 COR. IX v:22


– R . I . P –




“To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.”

1 Corinthians 9:22
“His memory will not perish”
“And his name will be called”
“From generation to generation”
Ecclesiasticus 39:13
– R . I . P –







Major General J.J Perie’s Gothic Tomb

In the northwestern corner of Taman Prasasti, I came across a magnificent tomb which could fit right into Transylvania like a glove. This gothic looking tomb belongs to Major General J. J. Perie,  the Commander of the 1st Groote Militaire Afdeeling (literally the Great Military Division) in Java.  During his illustrious career with the military, he was knighted and conferred with the 4th Order of the Militaire Willems-Orde (Military Order of William), the oldest and highest honour of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This chivalric order was often presented to senior military officers in recognition of their feats of bravery on the battlefield and as a meritorious decoration. The receipient of several awards during his lifetime, Major General Perie was also awarded the Order of the Netherlands Lion.


Major General Perie passed away in 1853 in Batavia. Due to his military rank and appointment, he was given a grand and honourable funeral and buried in Batavia itself. The high-relief hatchment on his tomb consists of a Galea (a Roman soldier’s helmet), a Gladius (Roman sword) and a wreath.

Further up, the upper hatchment displays an array of military flags, swords, drums and pistols. From this hatchment, we could tell that Major General Perie was a military man. (Compare this to the hatchment of Dirk Varkevisser – which consisted of agricultural tools – as seen earlier)

For Asians, it is very common to find larger tombs for the wealthy or people who were very important (take O.G Khouw for instance!). I guess the same can be said for the Dutch! From the size and grandeur of his grave, we could see the importance of Major General J. J. Perie’s contributions to the Dutch East Indies government in Batavia.


Apart from my main task of locating Olivia Raffles’s tomb, the discovery of other tombs along the way and the interesting stories behind them were pretty gratifying for me. The many different tombs of Petamburan and Taman Prasasti were bewitching and I had much joy in discovering the tomb of O.G Khouw in the process. The many amazing stories behind each tomb were simply fascinating. I hope that you have enjoyed reading the memoir as much as I had enjoyed carrying out my research and writing it.

As Greg Anderson once said “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”, nothing can be further from the truth.

Is he?

As it stands, there are slightly over one thousand tombs in Taman Prasasti, each with their own story to tell. There are several more tombs of significance located in the area, like the tombs of Soe Hok Gie (an Chinese-Indonesian activist who fought for the rights of the Chinese community during the reign of presidents Sukarno and Suharto), Major General Johan Harmen Rudolf Khöler (a Dutch general who died in the Aceh war), Major General Andreas Victor Michiels (a highly successful Dutch general who triumphed over his native opponents in many skirmishes), Ms. Riboet (a hugely popular actress and recording artiste in the 1920s) and many, many others whom I am unable to mention in one breath alone. Perhaps one day I will return to document all these tombs and find out about the magnificent stories behind them. In my opinion, Taman Prasasti deserves a dedicated website of its own, documenting each individual tomb, their unique designs, their inscriptions and of course the back story of the deceased