The Bank Mandiri Museum, To See Old-style Banking
Different from its next door neighbor, the Bank of Indonesia Museum, which showcases the monetary history of the Indonesian archipelago, the Bank Mandiri Museum displays the interior of an actual Bank as it was in days gone by.
Bank Mandiri Museum is located on Jalan Lapangan Stasiun No. 1 facing Jakarta’s Fatahillah Museum across the Plaza, which is now known as Jalan Lapangan Stasiun or the Station Square. This area, now called Old Batavia was constructed by Dutch East Indies’ Governor General, Jan Pieterszoon Coen.
Originally housing the Nederlandsche Handels Maatshappij (NHM) – or the Dutch Trading Company. Which later grew into a banking corporation, – the Museum covers an area of 10,039 sq meters, standing on a total ground of 21,509 sq. meters.
The building itself was designed by Dutch architects, J.J.J. de Bruyn, A.P. Smits, and C. Van de Linde. In 1960 after Indonesia’s Independence, NHM was nationalized and its building was used as the office of the Cooperative Bank for Farmers and Fishermen, the BKTN, which since 31 December 1968 became the Exim Bank.
But in 1999, the government merged the Exim Bank with the National Trade Bank (BDN) and the National Development Bank (Bapindo) to become the present Bank Mandiri.
Standing guard at the main entrance are two “guards” in 1900s colonial uniform. Entering the lobby of this imposing building one feels instantly drawn back to a previous era. The lobby itself is paved with original old-style, shining black, grey and red tiles that still cover the entire floor. This is the ground floor where daily transactions were held. A long counter stands where tellers used to serve their customers, displaying mannequins busy going about their duties.
Artefacts connected with the banking world can also be seen here, among which are old typewriters, deposit certificates, shares, telephones and telegraph machines, counting machines, old chairs and desks, all in clean and perfect condition.
In the center of the hall are two large books (Grootboek) from NHM time showing company accounts between 1833-1837.
On the right hand side is an area dedicated to Chinese clients. Because many Chinese owned large plantations and trade companies, the Bank decided to set aside a special area for the Chinese. In fact, during the Dutch colonial period, the Chinese were considered “aliens” who were of a higher rank than indigenous Indonesians, but were considered still below the Dutch and Europeans.
Climbing the stairs to the upper floor one sees a beautiful stained glass artwork depicting the four seasons of Summer, Autumn, Spring and Winter and the famous Dutch captain Cornelis de Houtman, the first Dutch captain to land on Indonesian soil.
On the second floor are elegant offices of the Bank Directors, a library, and a display of uniforms for security personnel.
There is also an old lift with a glass window that still works, although now equipped with a modern engine.
Going down to the basement, here one finds the Bank vaults with heavy steel doors specially imported from Holland. Here is also a room depicting Batavia in olden days. There is an old bicycle, a grandfather’s clock and a video on life in Old Batavia.
Behind the building is a large lawn which now serves as a children’s playground.
Today, the Bank Mandiri Museum is often used for Events, a favorite for photographic clubs and communities, painting exhibitions, pre-wedding pictures and more.
The Museum is open to the public Tuesdays to Sundays, from 09.0 am to 04.0 pm, and is closed on Mondays.
Entrance Fee is Rp 2,000 but is free of charge for Bank Mandiri ATM card holders.
The address is:
Museum Bank Mandiri
Jl. Lapangan Stasiun No. 1 Jakarta Kota
Besides arriving here by car or taxi, try the Trans Jakarta Busway. You can travel this route to Jakarta Kota from any station on Jalan Sudirman and Jalan Thamrin.
An underpass from the Kota Busway station leads directly to the Bank Mandiri Museum.
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