Places to visit

Toko Merah, Oldest Trade Building now open for Art Exhibitions and Conventions


Toko Merah or the Red Shop is one of the oldest buildings and best preserved in present day Old Batavia. Recently restored by its present owners the PT Perusahaan Perdagangan Indonesia (PT.PPI) - a conglomeration of state-owned enterprises for Trade, - the Red House has been reopened for meetings, conventions and art exhibitions.

Located at Jalan Kali Besar Barat 107, along the once busy Ciliwung river, in the subdistrict of Roa Malaka, West Jakarta , Toko Merah was originally the home of Willem Baron van Imhoff, who later became Governor General of the East India Company from 1743-1750.

In its long history, the building was converted into a maritime academy from 1743-1755, the first and most prestigious maritime academy in the Far East at the time, then it became a Guest House for high ranking officials (Heerenlogement) from 1787 – 1808.

One famous guest here was Willian Bligh, commander of the Bounty, whose deputy staged a mutiny on board ship on 28 April 1789.

This event was made renowned through the film Mutiny on the Bounty, starring Anthony Hopkins as William Bligh and Mel Gibson as deputy commander Christian Fletcher.

In 1851 the building was bought by a Chinese trader who painted the brick walls completely red. Hence the building was known as the Red Shop or Toko Merah. The red color dominating both its exterior as well as its interior.

During this period, the building became the center of slave trade in this Dutch colony. Traces from this period in history can be seen in the names of surrounding districts, such as Manggarai, for example, which was the village for slaves from Flores, Kampung Bali for those from Bali and Kampung Ambon from Ambon in the Moluccas, and others.

Later in the 1900s, the Borneo Compagnie established itself in Toko Merah, and later again it was taken over by Jacobson van den Berg, one of the 5 largest companies in the East Indies.

In the 18th century, ships could sail into the Ciliwung at Kali Besar (meaning the Large River), and dock right in front of the row of shops here, loading and unloading their precious ware. This area was then a “Central Business District” of the time, with busy traffic on land as well as on the river. Nowadays, though, with the silting of the river, no boats can enter the Kali Besar although on land traffic remains heavy.

At the time, it was said that Toko Merah had 6 boats of its own, and had available 8 carriages with 8 pairs of horses in stables at the back of the building.

Toko Merah, in fact, comprises two buildings joined together under one roof. The building has, therefore, two entrance doors. Its twin ground floor has a wide open area, ideal for conferences, art and jewelry exhibitions and weddings. Its upper floor with its large oopen rooms are ideal for official meetings.

Toko Merah is built in 18th century Baroque architecture as can be seen from its cornice elements and tall windows. Its ornamentation is a mix of classic European and Chinese décor, where its Baroque staircase is most impressive.

To Stay

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Fofic Suite Hotel

Street Tongkol No 23, Old Town Jakarta

Hotel Rumah Shinta

Jl. Mangga Dua Raya no. 41, Pinangsia 11110 Jakarta Jakarta

Ibis Jakarta Mangga Dua

Jalan Pangeran Jayakarta 73, Jakarta , Indonesia, 10730 Jakarta

The Plaza Hotel Glodok

Glodok Plaza Lot 3, Jl. Pinangsia Raya No. 1 11180 Jakarta

Hotel Ibis Mangga Dua and Apartments

Jalan Pangeran Jayakarta 73 10730 Jakarta

Ibis Jakarta Mangga Dua Hotel

Jalan Pangeran Jayakarta 73 10730 Jakarta

Sanno Hotel

Jl. Pluit Selatan Raya No. 2 Jakarta


Jalan Hayam Wuruk No. 127 A 11180 Jakarta

Novotel Jakarta Gajah Mada Hotel

Jl Gajah Mada No 188 11120 Jakarta

Novotel Jakarta Gajah Mada

188, Jl Gajah Mada , Jakarta , Indonesia, 11120 Jakarta

Le Grandeur Mangga Dua Hotel

Jl. Mangga Dua Raya 10730 Jakarta

To Stay

Since Kali Besar forms part of Jakarta ’s present-day China Town, there are plenty of large and more modest hotels to be found at Mangga Besar and around Mangga Dua. Here are a few:

Amaris Hotel Mangga Besar
Jalan Mangga Besar Raya No.7-11,
Jakarta 11180 - INDONESIA

Sparks Hotel, Glodok
Jalan Mangga Besar Raya 42

Plaza Hotel, Mangga Dua
Komp. Mangga Dua Plaza, Jakarta Pusat

Best Western Mangga Dua
Jalan Mangga Dua Abdad III

Mercure Jakarta Kota Hotel
Jl. Hayam Wuruk 123, Mangga Besar, Jakarta

Le Grandeur – Mangga Dua
Jl. Mangga Dua Raya

Jayakarta Hotel, Mangga Besar
Jl. Hayam Wuruk 126, Jakarta 11180

Ibis Mangga Dua
Jalan Pangeran Jayakarta 73


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