Lawang Sewu Semarang

Semarang is one of big city in Indonesia. It is the capital of Central Java province. Its location is in the middle of northern coast of Java island. So, it is also as a transit city. Therefore, Semarang has some places to visit. The local government manage this tourism spots well. As the recognition, they received an award as a Clean Tourist City during the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2020. Based on that, it is worth to visit Semarang. One of the famous tourist destination is Lawang Sewu building in Semarang city.

What is Lawang Sewu of Semarang?

Lawang is Javanese language means door. While, sewu means thousand. So, lawang sewu means thousand doors. And, it is the name of a building in the center of Semarang city. It has a history. That’s why then the government decreed it as one of the cultural heritage.

The Dutch invaded Indonesia during the Word War II. They established a VOC as an overseas business office. Started in Batavia (or Jakarta now), they expanded their invasion to other cities. One of the city was Semarang. Aside from invasion, they also built the city. They built some buildings. One of it was the Lawang Sewu building. They built it in 27 February 1904. And, finished in 1907.

Originally, it was an office of Dutch railway private company. This company had a lot of employees. So, they built a building with a lot of rooms and windows. Precisely there were 429 doors. In addition to that, there were small swing doors and sliding doors in each big door. So, in total with big windows, there were 1,200 door frames. Because of that, people called it as a building with thousand doors (lawang sewu). This company built a railway between Semarang, Solo, and Yogya.

After that, during the invasion, the Dutch overseas government ever used this building as a prison. There were some tortures to the prisoners until death. Based on this story, there was a mystical ambience in the building.

After the independence of Indonesia, the government neglected this building. They let this building dark and dirty. The owner of this building was the Indonesian railway company. It is a state owned company. Finally, they rebuilt the building on 2011.

How to go to Semarang?

It is easy to reach Semarang. There are some flights to Semarang in Central Java. Alternatively, we can use land transportation, i.e. car, bus, train. From Jakarta, it will take an hour to fly. While, using land transportation, we will need approx. 7 – 8 hours. The price of the airline ticket from Jakarta to Semarang is USD 35 – 150 for one way trip. While, the train ticket price is USD 10 – 75.