Rumah Tua Pondok Cina: An Old Heritage of Depok


Some said that the original name of Pondok Cina is Kampung Bojong. Pondok China is now become served as a name of village and part of Beji sub district. The history of Depok began when Cornelis Chastelein (born in Amsterdam, August 10, 1657 – died in Depok, June 28, 1714) bought and held the land in “Pal 21” on May 18, 1696. He made the entire land as ground for pepper plantations. To take care of the land, he bought many slave families who come from various parts of Indonesia: Bali, Ambon, Bugis, and Sundanese. The complex land of him later named “Depok”. Depok name supposedly comes from Sundanese language meaning hermitage. However, based on other sources, Depok name comes from the acronym De Eerste Protestants Onderdaan Kerk which means First People Christian Church.

The Pondok Cina naming is believed started to develop as a temporary haven for the Chinese since the first half of the 18th century. Shortly after Chastelein started build Depok through his slaves. Chastelein and his slaves require a stock of goods for daily needs. Batavia was too far so he need the market in Depok. He began inviting merchants in Batavia to come to Depok. Meanwhile, as the VOC looked Depok as an area for crops and farm supplies to Batavia. There was a dependency relationship between Depok and Batavia.

Those who trade in Depok are obliged to obey the Chastelein rules. As a landlord, he had the privilege to make the law trade. One is the prohibition of Chinese people to lived in Depok. Cause of the ban itself was never clear till now. Chastelein only allow the Chinese to trade in Depok from morning to evening. After Chastelein died in 1714. His slaves are entitled to the cultivation of land in Depok and continue Chastelein rules like banning Chinese people living in Depok.

Since Pondok Cina is not part of the Depok, the Chinese people were allowed to establish a simple cottage in the region. Pondok Cina, at that time, already a very strategic position, located in the main roads to the three markets, namely the market Cimanggis, Cisalak and the Old Market. The third market was later emerging, since as the central government has shifted from Old Batavia to Weltevreden and and the Governor-General moved his official place: from Batavia to Buitenzorg ( Bogor). These movements make the main road Batavia Bogor-Depok-Buitenzorg repaired. In addition, the railway line that crosses the Jakarta Kota – Manggarai-Depok-Buitenzorg was built in the mid 19th century.

The new settlement developed in Depok and its surrounding areas, including distribution of goods from Depok to Batavia and Buitenzorg became easier. New settlements grew, including the area of ​​Pondok Cina

Rumah Tua Pondok Cina or The Old House of Pondok Cina was built in 1841. This house was founded and owned by a Dutch architect, but in the mid-19th century was bought by Chinese merchants, Lauw Tech Lock and then passed on to his son named Kapitan Der Shiang Tjeng Chineezen Lauw. The Old House of Pondok Cina became the witnessed of the history of Chinese trade in Depok. The Old House of Pondok CIna now turned into a Cafe-Resto as The Old House Coffee which is located inside the Margo City Shopping Centre.

How to get here (see the route map):

From Juanda / Gondangdia / Cikini go to platform 2 and take the Red Line heading to Depok/Bogor then stop at Pondok Cina and take a 9 minutes walk to the South

From Tanah Abang go to platform 3 and take Yellow Line heading to Depok/Nambo/Bogor then stop at Pondok Cina and take a 9 minutes walk to the South

From Sudirman go to platform 2 and take the Yellow Line heading to to Depok/Nambo/Bogor then stop at Pondok Cina and take a 9 minutes walk to the South

See the link map or the map below

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