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Construction of Modern Jakarta

Serious construction of Modern Jakarta was started by Indonesia’s first president, Soekarno, who built the wide avenue connecting the Merdeka Square with the then new residential town of Kebayoran.

This avenue was earnarked exclusively for highrise buildings. And so today, one sees only tall buildings on the Sudirman-Thamrin 6 lanes avenue. President Soekarno, who was a civil engineer by education, also built the National Monument and the Istiqlal Mosque. Indonesia’s first highrise hotel, the Hotel Indonesia – now Hotel Indonesia Kempinski - was also built then, as was the Wisma Nusantara across this iconic Hotel Indonesia round-about fountain, today popular sites for political demonstrations.

Soekarno also built the Bung Karno Sports Center at Senayan, where the entire complex was earlier designed as a huge Olympic-sized village. Today, though, the Senayan area also has five star hotels, the Jakarta Convention Center, shopping malls and Television stations. While the Sports Center is often used for super gigs where international celebrities perform for immense crowds.

Bunderan HI, the Hotel Indonesia Circle

The Hotel Indonesia Circle is today’s heart of the metropolitan city of Jakarta. Consisting of a refreshing fountain and the Welcome to Jakarta Statue, this roundabout connects the 19th century Menteng area with 21st. century Jakarta with its modern skyscrapers, toll roads and wide avenues along Jalan Thamrin-Sudirman.

Around the circle are large hotels, supermalls and banks welcoming visitors in grand style to Indonesia’s capital city.

The original Hotel Indonesia, from which this circle derives its name, has been revamped, extended and raised, and is now the Hotel Indonesia Kempinski with adjoining Grand Indonesia mall and the tall BCA Tower, now one of the tallest buildings in the city.

Opposite is the Grand Hyatt with the equally grand Plaza Indonesia, shopping center for the elite and international visitors. Behind these two buildings is the famous Tanah Abang Textile wholesale area, and the Thamrin City mall.

On the other side is the Wisma Nusantara building, Jakarta’s first highrise building built by the Japanese with war reparation.

Today, Bunderan HI is the center of the city. On Jakarta’s Car free days, the Circle is closed to all vehicles and becomes the favorite spot for community sports, cycling, jogging and family recreation. On Jakarta’s anniversary celebrations Bunderan HI with its Welcome Statue is filled with musical entertainment for all to enjoy.

Senayan and the Semanggi cloverleaf bridge

President Soekarno also built the Bung Karno Sports Center at Senayan, where the entire complex was earlier designed as a huge Olympic-sized village. The Senayan complex houses the large Gelora Bung Karno Stadium and many sports facilities for tennis, archery, golf, swimming and others.

Today, though, the Senayan area also contains the Jakarta Convention Center, five star hotels shopping malls and Television stations. While the Stadium and other Sports facilities are often used for super gigs where international celebrities perform for immense crowds.

The Senayan and the Semanggi Cloverleaf Bridge were built for the 4th Asian Games held in 1962.

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