Fatahillah Square (Taman Fatahillah) was the town square of the Dutch settlement of Batavia, and is where the most well preserved buildings from that era are located in Jakarta. Today, Fatahillah square is a busy place – it has a constant carnival atmosphere created by the Jakartans who gather there to hang out with friends and enjoy the variety of traditional food available. Three of Jakarta’s best Museums are located here.
The Wayang (Puppet) Museum is on the west side of Fatahillah Square has an excellent collection of leather and wooden Indonesian puppets from all over the country. Wayang theater is an inherent aspect of Indonesian culture. There is a regular Wayang performance on Sunday mornings. . It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.
The Jakarta Historical Museum is on the north side of the square. Completed in the early 1700’s, it is in the former City Hall of Batavia. It has 37 rooms plus some dungeons below. Furniture, artwork, maps, memorabilia,and other artifacts are on display that document the evolution of Jakarta. . It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.
Si Jagur – a Portuguese cannon sits in front of the Historical Museum. It was believed to bring fertility, so women hoping for a child would sit on its barrel.
The Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics is on the east side of the square. It has over 400 exhibits of rare paintings, sculpture, Batik paintings, and ceramics. It is open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.
The Great Canal is a couple of blocks west of Fatahillah Square.
Fatahillah Square is located in North Jakarta (Kota). It’s easiest to get there by taxi – cost about Rp.40,000 from Central Jakarta.