St. Paul's Church of Jakarta

Here’s a pic of St. Paul's Church taken in 1948:

St. Paul's Church of Jakarta 1948

And my pic of the church, taken from a slightly different spot, some 67 years later:

St. Paul's Church of Jakarta

Hardly any change, as you might expect.

Not the oldest church in Jakarta (it was built just before the onset of the second world war in 1936), the church is nonetheless quite an interesting and rare example of Dutch Rationalism architecture, as exemplified by simplicity, functionality and - rather ironically considering that this is a building used for religious purposes – rationality.

Thanks to its location in the salubrious confines of tree-lined Menteng, the building’s aggressive angles, monstrous triangles and bare brickwork don’t hit you quite so much as if it were located in a harsher urban setting.

Above all else, in both a literal and figurative sense, are the steeple’s clocks. Although they are all said to still be working, I have my doubts given that the upkeep of buildings and machinery is often neglected in these parts. But time moves on regardless of whether the clocks are working or not. And in that sense at least not many of us will be around in another 67 years to see what the church looks like in 2082!


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