Taman Medan Merdeka (Medan Merdeka Square) or Taman Monas (Monas Park) is located in the heart of Jakarta, and it is definitely in the heart of Indonesia. Give your thanks to Daendels because without him Indonesia would not have this famous park, which is the largest park in the world.
Governor General Heman Willem Daendels built this park in early 19th century and named the park “Champ de Mars” that was used for military training at the time.
In 1818, under the administration of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the name of the park was changed to Koningsplein (King’s Square), since nearly every Dutch Indies Governor General started to inhabit the new palace.
Batavians, on the other hand, call the park “Gambir Square,” since there were a lot of Gambir tree in that area. Koningsplein Park became the site of Pasar Gambir, the Night Market Fair to celebrate the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina in 1906. Since 1921, Pasar Gambir became an annual event and became the forerunner of the Jakarta Fair.
During the Japanese occupation, the name of this park was changed to Lapangan Ikada (Ikada Square). After independence, Soekarno changed the name to Medan Merdeka Square. Medan Merdeka Square intersected four diagonal cross roads that formed an “X” cross with the National Monument standing right in the middle. The street is called “Jalan Silang Monas” which divides the park into four sections: North, East, South, and West.
Medan Merdeka Utara Park. The entrance to the tunnel that takes visitors to the National Monument is located in this section. Statues of Prince Diponegoro riding a horse and the bust of the Indonesian poet, Chairil Anwar is also located in this park.
Medan Merdeka Timur Park. Gambir Station is located in this section of the park. Reflective ponds and a statue of Kartini, a donation from the Japanese government, which was originally located in front of Suropati Park, Menteng, is now located in this park.
Medan Merdeka Selatan Park. A nuanced nationalistic flag bearer statue is located here. In the southeast corner there is a spotted deer enclosure. In this section of the park there are unique trees that became a symbol representing 33 provinces in Indonesia. IRTI parking lot, souvenir shops and food stalls for visitors is also located in this area.
Medan Merdeka Barat Park. The place of the fountain that dances with colorful lights, which gives off pleasant illuminations in this section of the park. Fountain shows with musical accompaniment are held every weekend night.
How to get here (see route map)
From Tanah Abang: Go to Platform 3/5 and take the Yellow Line heading to Manggarai, and from there go to Platform 3/5 and take the Red Line or Blue Line heading to Jakarta Kota and stop at Juanda Station and take a 21-minute walk to the south.
From Sudirman: Go to Platform 2 and take the Yellow Line heading to Manggarai. From there, go to Platform 3/5 and take the Red Line or Blue Line heading to Jakarta Kota and stop at Juanda Station. Walk for 21 minutes to the south.
For a map illustration, click here, or see the map below.