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Semarang / See & Do / Architectural Sights / Lawang Sewu

LAWANG SEWU - A Historical Building that Tells Stories

Lawang Sewu Lawang Sewu Lawang Sewu Lawang Sewu

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Address: Jl. Pemuda, Komplek Tugu Muda, Semarang, Indonesia
Phone: (024) 354 2015
GPS Coordinate: S6°59'2" E110°24'37.6" (view map)

Not only having awesome and glorious architectural style, but Lawang Sewu is also telling thousand of stories about the glory of NIS, the cruelty of Japan, and the heroic story of Indonesian youngsters.

A Historical Building that Tells Stories

The rapid growth of train as mean of transportation in Java had made the number of workers was getting bigger, so they needed larger office to work. This was the reason for Het Hoofdkantoorvan de Nederlandsch Indische Spoorweg Maatscappij (NIS) or the center of NIS railways division was built on the corner of Bodjongweg or now known as Pemuda street. This building that was constructed with art deco style and has twins tower in front is later famous as Lawang Sewu.

It is called Lawang Sewu by the indigenous people because in Javanese language, lawang means door and sewu means a thousand. In other words, lawang sewu can be translated into a thousand doors. It doesn’t mean that this building has exactly one thousand doors, but the word thousand is used to figure out that Lawang Sewu has so many doors. Though it has been a hundred years old, the building that was built with European style and has local ornament still strongly exists. The glass decorative items on the window makes this building looks more luxurious and elegant. It seems that times cannot make this building as the landmark of Semarang fade away.

Beside its beautiful architecture, Lawang Sewu also provides historical value. At the beginning of its era, this building that was located in front of Daendels Highway Post was used as the office of NIS and also house for the Ducth people. Its basement was also ever used by the Japanese army as jail in the 5 day incident in Semarang and as government office after Indonesia’s independence. Nowadays, the organization of Lawang Sewu is controlled by Indonesia Railways Division.

Entering one of the building in Lawang Sewu, YogYES was greeted by a long path with wooden doors on both sides. There was a ballroom, dining hall, multi-functioned room, and showroom on the upper floor. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any furniture or tools left but only empty room. Our visit to Lawang Sewu was continued to the basement. Seeing narrow, dark, and damp rooms that had been used as jail made us frightened. The smell of cruelty in the past was still there.

It opens from:
Monday to Sunday at 6a.m to 6p.m

The ticket is:

  • Entering the building: IDR 5,000
  • Visiting the basement: IDR 10,000

Special on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we may have a visit tour to Lawang Sewu at 12p.m

Places near LAWANG SEWU (radius 1 km)