Photo: Courtesy of Disparbud DKI Jakarta

Photo: Courtesy of Disparbud DKI Jakarta

sunda kelapa harbour

Witness the Phinisi ships in a line, which have unique shape and the body painted in some different colors on the Sunda Kelapa Harbour. Sunda Kelapa Harbor has been well known since the 12th century, but the existence estimated to be since the 5th century. Sunda Kelapa Harbor was once belong to Sunda Empire with capital of Pajajaran, located at around the current Bogor. At that time Sunda Kelapa Harbor was busily visited for the spicy trading. Foreign ships from China, South India, Japan, and Middle East was docking at Sunda Kelapa Harbor and conducting trading activities by carrying commodities like perfume, horses, wine, porcelain, coffee, silk, textiles and coloring materials to be traded with the spicy.

In 1522, Sunda Kingdom built a closer relationship with Portugal and guaranteed a permit to build offices and houses complete with fortress at Sunda Kelapa area. The relationship between Sunda Empire and Portugal regarded as threat by Demak Kingdom, which was the neighbor of Sunda Kingdom. It drove Demak to finally decided to chase away Portugal and to take away Sunda Kelapa by force. On 22nd June, 1527, under the leadership of Fatahillah, Demak’s troop took away Sunda Kelapa by force. Since then the name of Sunda Kelapa changed to Jayakarta, which meant the city of victory or glory.

On 30th March, 1619, under the leadership of Jan Pieterszoon Coen, VOC Holland troop took away Sunda Kelapa from Demak and changed the name to Batavia. In 1942, Japan took away Batavia from Holland and changed the name to Jakarta. In 1945 Indonesia became a free nation; however Holland was still trying to dominate back Indonesia. During the existence of Holland in Indonesia the name of Jakarta harbor stayed still. On 6th March 1974, based on the governor of DKI Jakarta’s decision, the name of Sunda Kelapa Harbor being used again as the name of the harbour.

Till date, one can still see the hectic loading and unloading activities at the harbour.
*Text courtesy of


  • Category : Places of Interest


Jl. Maritim No. 8, North Jakarta, Indonesia.