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Indonesia » Java Island » West Java » Bandung » History and Culture » Bandung History
Bandung History
by: Editorial Team

Bandung is a place with unique language, culture, and amazing history. It’s located about 180 km southeast from Jakarta. Bandung can be found on the Parahyangan plateau 768 meters above sea level. It has a cooler climate throughout the year than other places in Indonesia. It is surrounded by mountains, several of which are active volcanoes. Some of the mountain peaks are extremely beautiful, for example Tangkubanperahu’s, Bukit Tunggul’s, and Burangrang’s.

Bandung has a long and unique history, from ancient times to the Dutch occupation and to the independence struggle. The city’s history dates from 1488 when the first reference to the name, Bandung, began. Bandung was an agreeable place to some European adventurers. In 1809, Louis Napoleon, the ruler of the Netherlands ordered Governor H.W. Daendels to increase defences against the English. They found Bandung a strategic place to plan their exploits.

Bandung was an important place for both Asian and African countries. In 1955, President Soekarno held the Asian-African summit conference at Bandung. This movement was aimed at uniting Asian and African countries to fight against the colonization of the West. The same conference was also held again in Bandung in the year 2005 but this time in memory of the 1955’s conference.

When Indonesia finally attained Independence and the Dutch left, there remained behind many historical footprints of the Dutch’s presence in Bandung. You can see on some old houses and historical buildings, the mode of western architecture. One of the best examples is the stunning Savoy Homann Hotel, built to its present glory in 1938.

Bandung has had many nicknames. These nicknames reflect the fascinating properties of Bandung. For example Kota Kembang (City of Flower), Paris Van Java (Paris from Java), Bandung Lautan Api (Bandung, ocean of fire).

Some corners of Bandung city have got many different shop outlets spread out on strategic streets. It reflects the pulse of economical growth. The many shops that line the major streets of Bandung usually offer export quality clothes, shoes, accessories and other products and services. You will find quite a number of stores that promote the more famous brand names as well as others. Cihampelas Jeans Street is one long stretch dedicated to denim, but you can also find all kinds of other fashion buys and accessories. Jalan Dago is another centre of dozens of factory outlets. All take credit cards.

Bandung has also a nickname, ‘academic city’. There is a prestigious university in Bandung entitled the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). This institute has been the alma mater to many of Indonesian political and industrial leaders. Besides ITB, there are two other popular universities. They are the universities of Parahyangan and Padjadjaran.

At night, Bandung is spangled by lamps like stars radiating in the sky. It is after all cited as ‘the city that never sleeps’. The economical pulse never stops. When you visit Jalan Barga you will see some cafes, clubs and galleries. These places are attractive enough to arrange a rendezvous, take a nap, or delve into some entertainment. Everything goes. There are even some really romantic spots, designed for couples to stay up all night. Did you know that Braga Street, the older section in particular, was geographically planned by the Dutch when they set Bandung up to be their new capital? The Braga street area was regulated by these authorities to ensure its European nature in the building styles.

  • Where to Explore in Bandung
  • Where to Stay in Bandung
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