Jl. Tanah Pasir Mas Block C 25. Jakarta 14450

Amazing Places to Visit at Old Town Jakarta

An Unforgettable Journey
25 Jul

Church of Zion


Church of Zion is a symbol of the past history both on the development of Batavia Christians to be the capital Jakarta. Apparently this church as in the cities of Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States is a symbol of the presence of Christians and their development. So Zion Church as well as the churches in various cities in Java, also showed the presence of Christians and the development of Batavia at the center of the Dutch government.

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Zion Church was built in 1693 with the laying of the first stone by Peiter Van Horn on October 19, 1693. The inauguration two years later, on October 23, 1695 with the blessing by the Reverend Theodorus Zas.

Deborah Pesik who wrote her testimony in the fourth edition of the publication Sunnhodos 2008 confirmed that Zion Church, located between Jalan Pangeran Jayakarta and Jalan Mangga Dua Raya is still intact, including the organist accompanying music instruments. This church is a true change from an open  simple hut, so it can be called a Hall Church or Church Ward. After Indonesia’s independence, management and use of GPI submitted to the Zion Church or Protestant Church of Indonesia. And in 1957, synods decided GPI name is replaced with the name of GPIB or  Western Indonesia Protestant Church.

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Then the naming of Zion Church is also a congregation GPIB Sion. The name Zion is on a hill in the West Bank, which is near the old city of Jerusalem. Zion is also the expression or symbol of salvation of the nation of Israel.

If we were in Jerusalem, where there are  three major religions building, namely Al Aqsa and the Mosque of Omar and the Church of the Redemption or Sepulchure Church and the Via Dolorosa and the Wailing Wall, then automatically when we look towards the south seemed Zion. Mount of Zion is located almost adjacent to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Because built by the Portuguese, then the Zion Church once called the Portuguese Church. At that time there was another church outside Batavia, which was also named after the Portuguese Church, but was burned engulfed in water in 1808. Now, after four centuries old church serves to the interests of Portuguese immigrants worship of Malaya and India, the Church of Zion is still in use as a worship place of Jakarta Christian. The Portuguese immigrant called Mardijkers (independent), as indeed they had been a prisoner in Malaya and India region. Once free, they were taken from Malacca and India by the Dutch company VOC-Verenegde Oost Indische Companie. According to the author, the construction of the Zion Church was in conjunction with the collapse of the Portuguese empire in the region of India, Malacca, Sri Lanka and the Moluccas. And when Japan occupied East Asia including Batavia, the army wanted to use Zion Church as a funeral of their troops, who died in battle. But apparently the desire of the Japanese Army was not reached.

The internal part Zion Church form one room with three parts, namely: the ceiling is arched like a drum, and is supported by six pillars. There are also four brass chandeliers and candelabra chandelier. It is said that this kandelar- ordered from India (Goa Portuguese power center in southern India) bearing the lion, shield, and sword as a symbol of the City of Batavia. Rear there is an additional building sized  6×18 meters. The church building has Belkita designation rectangular area of 24 X 32 meters, while behind the building there is a 6×18 square meters. Thus in the days of special worship eg Zion Church could hold 1,000 member congregation. But the development of capital Jakarta also affected the churchyard narrowed, due to road widening in 1984.

Design and construction of Zion Church was designed by architect from Rotterdam, Ewout Verhagen. While the foundation of the church consists of 10 thousand logs or beams dolken round. While the wall consists of bricks bonded with brick and sugar are engineered to withstand the heat. The floor was worked out using gray tiles.

Zion Church has experienced two renovations, first in 1920 and second in 1978. The church still has a number of ancient objects. Baroque pulpit that is similar to the Catholic Church Cathedral. Beautiful antique pulpit was presented by H. Bruijk with canopy hood and leaned on two pillars Ionic style. While pulpit supported by the heads of winged angels with colors similar to human skin, to close to the original.

Other equipment is the organ that is supported by four pillars of bronze and iron pipe in it is gift from the Reverend John Maurtis Moor, although well maintained, but the last use was in 2000. With careful treatment of organ can still be used on any Sunday worship. Because it is a relic of the past that the Church of Zion in the leadership of Pastor Meiski Kolanus, already included in the treasury of the Department of Culture and the Government of the Capital Museum Jakarta (DKI). This means that management and supervision implemented in coordination of the Department of Culture and Museum along with the Jakarta Government. Thus when there is minor damage will be fixed soon.

Pastor Kolanus said the ministry in the Church of Zion who was member of the congregation numbered 368 heads of households, together with services in other churches. And interesting for the Services Sector Five sermon delivered in two languages, namely Indonesian and Mandarin. Mandarin is used for all citizens of the congregation are of Chinese descent.

Services in Mandarin is done by some waiters of a number of church-based languages. However maintainenance of  Zion Church is the obligation of the Christians in Jakarta, especially those who became members of this congregation.

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