The rooster church of Menteng

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Multiple pyramid-shaped roofs supported by large pillars as typically seen in art deco style is the main design features of GPIB Paulus Church in Menteng, Jakarta. Built in 1935 in the wake of the early 20th century economic crisis, then known as malaise period, the Dutch communities in the far colony had barely made it through with the financing after collecting enough donation from patrons inside the church councils in Europe and the Dutch East Indies.

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Architect F. J. L. Ghijsels with the firm Sitzen en Louzada were commisioned to design the building. It was located at the central intersection of then Batavia’s primary housing district.

The Presbyterian church shares similar status to the Jakarta Cathedral in terms of historical and cultural significance in Indonesia. It is a symbol of interfaith peaceful coexistence when the governor-turn-president Joko Widodo visited both places on 2013 Christmas Eve.

As close as the Jakarta Cathedral is to Istiqlal Mosque, the biggest in Southeast Asia, GPIB Paulus Church stood directly opposing the Sunda Kelapa Mosque, creating a hospitable circumstances between different religions. Both are also listed among the conserved historical buildings in the city.

GPIB Paulus Church has a popular name among the Jakartans: Gereja Ayam. Its tower was decorated with a rooster, perhaps a weather vane in the old days. Decorate your desktop with these wallpapers, available for download via Purnadi Phan Photography Flickr account.

Visit www.flickr.com/photos/purnadiphanphotography.

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