Masjid Istiqlal: The Indonesian National Mosque


Masjid Istiqlal or Istiqlal Mosque is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and has the highest capacity. This national mosque was built to commemorate Indonesian independence and named “Istiqlal”, an Arabic word for “independence”. The mosque was opened to the public 22 February 1978.

In 1950, four years after independence, KH Wahid Hasyim and H. Anwar Tjokroaminoto held a meeting with a number of Indonesian Muslim leaders in Deca Park, which was not far from the Presidential Palace, to discuss the proposed plan for the construction of the national mosque.

At that meeting, all the meeting members were unanimously agreed H. Anwar Tjokroaminoto as chairman of the Istiqlal Mosque Foundation. In 1953, construction committee of the Istiqlal Mosque, report the construction plan to the President.

At that time, Vice President Mohammad Hatta, argues that the most appropriate location for the construction of the Istiqlal Mosque is on Jl. Moh. Husni Thamrin, now the location of Hotel Indonesia. In consideration, that Muslim communities are lived here and that time there has been no building on it.

Istiqlal-Mosque

Meanwhile, President Soekarno proposed construction site in Wilhelmina Park and surrounded by government buildings and commercial centers as well as close to the Presidential Palace. This is in accordance with the symbol of royal power in Java and other regions in Indonesia that always mosque adjacent to the palace.

Opinions from the Vice President would actually be more efficient because it will not pay for the eviction of existing buildings above and around the site. However, after deliberation, finally set Istiqlal mosque construction site in Wilhelmina Park former Dutch fort.

The contest was held to determine the design of the mosque, President Soekarno act as Chairman of the Jury Panel. The contest was held on February 22, 1955 until May 30, 1955. The competition was attended by 30 participants and ultimately only 22 participants who otherwise meet the requirements.

On July 5, 1955, the jury set Frederich Silaban as the first winner and the announcement was conducted at the Presidential Palace, once conferred a 75 grams gold medal and  Rp. 25,000.

The foundation stone was laid by Sukarno on 24 August 1961 to coincide with the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday and witnessed by thousands of Muslims.

How to get here (see the route map):

From Gondangdia /Cikini go to platform 1 and  take Red Line or Blue Line heading to Jakarta Kota and stop at Juanda. Take a 8 minutes walk to the South

From Tanah Abang go to platform 3 and take the Yellow Line heading to Depok/Nambo/Bogor and stop at Manggarai. Go to platform 3/5 and  take Red Line or Blue Line heading to Jakarta Kota and stop at Juanda. Take a 8 minutes walk to the South

From Sudirman go to platform 2 and take the Yellow Line heading to Depok/Nambo/Bogor and stop at Manggarai. Go to platform 3/5 and  take Red Line or Blue Line heading to Jakarta Kota and stop at Juanda. Take a 8 minutes walk to the South

see the link map or the map below

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