You know, Indonesia is blessed with diversity. This not-so-small country is filled with dozens of island, scattered all over the archipelago, standing with their own unique identity under the same flag. Religions are also the other aspects that you can find so special from Indonesia. Not only Islam, but you can also find the other ones such as Christian, Catholic, Budha, Hindu, and many others including the traditional.
- Christianity Growth in Indonesia
- Christmas in Indonesia
- History of Catholic in Indonesia
- History of Christianity in Bali
Now in this article, we want to talk some more about the churches, the historical churches that you can still find even today. The Christian religion came to Indonesia in the 10th century, from the one purpose of Gospel. The proof of that act is still can be seen via the standing buildings that even still used until now. If you want to see them, this is the list of historical churches in Indonesia for you.
1 – Blenduk Church
The first one in the historical churches in Indonesia is a church, a big church of Semarang called Blenduk church. The name Blenduk came from its shape, which is a bit round on the tops side of the church. And Blenduk basically means round or fat in Javanese. The red-round shape is never to be forgotten.
However, the church was built long ago, in 1753 precisely. The round shape was made of silver and then colored red as to be seen today.
Built by: W. Westmas and H.P.A de Wilde (developers)
2 – Santa Maria De Fatima
Well, as mentioned in the intro, Indonesia is a country with a lot of diversity. So don’t be surprised when seeing a church but with another type of theme or structure, just like this one church called Santa Maria De Fatima for example. The church basically looks like a Chinese temple where you can see red color everywhere.
The church was built by a sailor captain from China, Tjioe during 1954, about nine years after Indonesia’s independence. Because of the acculturation, the Santa Maria De Fatima is one of many beautiful churches in Indonesia.
Location: Glodok, Jakarta
Built by: Tjioe
3 – Immanuel
Are you familiar with the structure of the White House? This Immanuel Church has similar looking, from up to bottom. From the outside, the church is decorated with the white color on all the aspects of the building, including pillars and even doors. This fancy looking church was built in 1824 and done in 1839.
Thanks to the design from J.H. Horst, the church is able to stand graciously all these years. With the Palladian pillars and all those beautiful compositions, no wonder that this church is always been a favorite.
Built by: J.H. Horst
4 – Sion
In the Jakarta city, you can also find another one of the historical churches in Indonesia called Sion Church. Sion has another nickname that given long before its official inauguration, Portugeesche Buitenkerk, which basically means church of Portuguese. It was started to built from 1693 to 1965.
But later on, specifically in October 23rd, the church was inaugurated by Priest Theodorus Zas. Because this church is rich in history, its existence is still protected.
Built by: Priest Theodorus Zas
5 – Fidelis Sebiram
Fifelis Sebiram is another traditional church you can find on the land of Kalimantan. To be specific, this church is located in a small village somewhere around Seberuang area of West Kalimantan. It’s an old one, even one of the oldest churches in the country. But, despite its old age, the church is still able to stand.
However, the church was built in 1892 when the colonials came to Kalimantan island. With the help from Priest Looymans, the Catholic religion was started to spread in West Kalimantan.
Location: Seberuang, West Kalimantan
Built by: Priest Looymans
6 – Ayam Church
Do you know that there are two chicken churches in Indonesia? The first chicken church is the one in Yogyakarta, having a shape exactly like a chicken. But the second one, which is this Ayam (chicken) church in Jakarta is another story. It doesn’t have a form that resembles that animal.
Built between 1913 to 1915 by the design from Ed Cuypers and his pal, Hulswit, the chicken church was supposed to build in order to be an expansion of previous church that was built many years before in 1859.
Built by: Ed Cuypers and Hulswit
7 – The Holy Heart of Christ (Hati Kudus Yesus)
This one church in historical churches in Indonesia is maybe the most unique one of all churches on this list. Having a combination between the national culture and foreign religion, the church slash temple is the true form of diversity harmony. On the front side, you can see the actual temple.
It was built by Schutzer family in 1930, in order to represent Jesus as a King of Java. With all its history, this place is always an interesting place for a religious trip.
Built by: Schutzer family
8 – The Red Church (Gereja Merah)
The next location on the list is the Red Church or as the locals like to call it a Gereja Merah. From the building, you can agree that this is the oldest church in Indonesia. The materials used for building the church are the red brick stones known for their really strong characteristics.
However, the church was inaugurated back in 1904. Back then the church had a white color all over. But in 1996 the locals painted it in red based on the idea of a priest. Thus the red church was created.
Built by:A nearby priest (unknown)
9 – Reinha Rosari
Moving from the land of Java to the East of Indonesia to visit the East Nusa Tenggara. There, you can see a church that looks like a magical castle. The building mostly colored in white and the structure is really amazing. The church has a long history since its inauguration back in 1862 ago.
Back then, the church wasn’t as good as it is today. The church only has bamboo walls and roof from rattans. Then in 1909, the church was rebuilt completely after the fire accident happened in 1901.
Location: East Nusa Tenggara Timur
Built by: Gabriel Manek
10 – Cathedral Santa Maria
In Indonesia, you can actually find a lot of big churches or cathedrals. In Bogor, you can actually find one called Cathedral Santa Maria. The church was built during the colonial era. The building process of this cathedral is highly related to the impactful during that time, Claessens.
He was started to build the cathedral and finally finished in 1896. The church is mostly decorated with the art style.
Built by: Claessens, PastoorMYD Clasessens
11 – Kepanjen
The Kepanjen church is not located in Malang city. Instead, this church is located in Surabaya city, a little bit far from the actual Kepanjen area near Malang. This one is should be included inside the oldest churches in the country because it was built in 1815, back when Christian wasn’t a common religion.
From the outside, the walls of the church seem to have the chocolate color. This came from materials for building it, which is the rustic brick stone.
Built by: Pastoor Wanders
12 – Cathedral Santo Petrus
The next one in the historical churches in Indonesia is Cathedral Santo Petrus that located in Bandung. This Santo Petrus church in Bandung also known as the Bandung Cathedral by the locals. The church was designed by Charles Proper Wolff Schoemaker with using this kind of gothic theme.
At first, this church was named Saint Francius Regis church in 1895 and the location wasn’t wide as today. Then in 1921, they expanded the church along with the higher status of Bandung at that time.
Location: Bandung city
Built by: Charles Proper Wolff Schoemaker
13 – Cathedral Jakarta
The most popular and iconic church in the capital city of Jakarta. Mainly known for its two white towers that scrapping the sky. This church that has the original name De Kerk van Onze Lieve Vrouwe ten Hemelopnemig is actually the oldest and the greatest church in Jakarta. It was built in 1901 by the European style by Pastor Antonius Dijkmans.
Built by: Pastoor Antonius Dijkmans
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14 – Tua Sikka
If you ever visited Flores before, do you remember a church there named Tua Sikka? The church, from all the churches mentioned in this article, was built during the 14th century, making it the oldest one. The designer of this church is also the same person who responsible for Cathedral Church in Jakarta, Pastoor Antonius Dijkmans
Built by: Pastoor Antonius Dijkmans
15 – Brastagi
And the last one on the list is the Brastagi church. This church was born by the acculturation between the Catholic religion and the culture of Berastagi city, which is Karo culture. The building and architecture are not common. It’s really unique, meaningful, and a strong church/ You must see it if you have the chance.
Location: Berastagi city
Built by: St. Fransisco Asisi