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National Monument – Symbol of Freedom, an Embodiment of a Nation’s Pride

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Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, was once renowned as a victorious city thus the name Jayakarta in Sanskrit was given to it. In time it became known as Jakarta and by now it has become a well known city and the focal point of Indonesia’s culture and economy. Even while Jakarta moves steadily towards its future the city’s historical glory has not been forgotten.

Jakarta nestles a number of landmarks with historical importance that would take a visitor back in time to a bygone era. These attractions include the soaring National Monument, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia Istiqlal Mosque and the ancient drawbridge Jembatan Pasar Ayam.

There is no way you would miss the National Monument when you are in Jakarta for it reaches a staggering height of 422 feet. From a distance it may appear like a slim torch dazzling in milky white in the morning and glowing in sapphire blue in the night. This massive structure sits in Central Jakarta in the middle of Merdeka Square. The National Monument is the pride of Indonesia for it symbolises a nation’s independence.

Under the guidance of the first President of Indonesia Sukarno, the National Monument’s construction began in 1961. After 14 years, on 12th July 1975 it was inaugurated. The monument portrays a unique shape from the base to the top. A square platform holds the base which is shaped into a goblet, the body is a slender obelisk and its top is capped with a flame wrapped in gold foils weighing 35 kilograms.

The National Monument commemorates Indonesia’s independence obtained from the Dutch on 17th August 1945. Monas is how the locals fondly refer to it, derived from the name Monumen Nasional. It is an embellishment to the Jakarta skyline that could be seen from great distances, as much as an enlivening and encouraging sight reminding the locals of their freedom struggles.

But there is much more to the National Monument than its unique shape. A statue of a national hero, Prince Diponegoro rises from the north of the structure. A sizable pond is added to enhance the charm of the backdrops. The flame of the monument is built entirely in bronze and embedded in golden foil while the obelisk is adorned with Italian marble. An observation platform is perched at 115 metres, while the structure reaches over 120 metres in height.

The structure also houses a historical museum decorated with marble to flaunt the glorious history of Indonesia. Named as the Freedom Hall, here you can observe the milestones of this thriving nation, with over 40 dioramas that stretches as far as the prehistoric times. Another highlight here is the Hall of Contemplation which houses important artefacts like Indonesia’s Coat of Arms and the authentic Proclamation of Independence.

If you are planning a trip to Indonesia and hope to tour the city of Jakarta include the National Monument to your sightseeing list.

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Source by Pushpitha Wijesinghe

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