Pasar Baru in Central Jakarta which was called Passer Baroe in the VOC era has become the embryo of a busy area in Jakarta. Visiting this place, we are as if taken to the era of colonialism which has left obvious traces.
In 1820, the Netherlands VOC under Governor General Daendels built a new city to replace the old one. Elite buildings such as philately building or post office on Jl Pos Raya, stadtsschowbourg which is now Jakarta Art Building, and hotels along Jl Antara and Jl Pasar Baru Selatan were built to support the center of government.
Those buildings built around 1820s to 1920s preserve their old European style. In the southern Pasar Baru, on Jl Antara, we can see Foto Antara building which was moved to the west side. Old hotels stand still on the crossroads of Jl Antara and Jl Pintu Air.
The same thing is seen on Jl KH Samanhudi. Some old buildings stand still, such as a protestant church or PNIEL or having known as “Ayam” Church, Vihara Dharma Jaya, and herb store Nyonya Meneer.
Old time legacies can also be seen on the main access to Pasar Baru. There are narrow high alleys that have characterized the roads in Europe.
“This narrow alley is as it was in the old time. But since many buildings have been renovated, the condition changes,” said Teng Oek (69), a figure in Pasar Baru, pointing a narrow alley heading to Vihara Dharma Jaya, Saturday (10/2).
Thus grandfather of nine grandchildren said that his families of three generations before him lived in Pasar Baru since 1898. But now, it is different from the condition in the Netherlands era. This old man called as Kong Ook said that besides the Netherlands, Chinese people lived and had business in Pasar Baru.
“The difference is that now many Indonesian people visit Pasar Baru, instead of foreign people,” said Kong Ook.