Lapangan Banteng

A little way down from the Merdeka Palace lies the Banteng Square,

 in front of which stands the Ministry of Finance, which was originally built as the Palace for Governor General Daendels. Around the square is the Catholic Church with the century old Sancta Ursula girls school attached. Opposite the Catholic Church is Jakarta’s iconic Istiqlal Mosque.

On Banteng square is the statue symbolizing the liberation of West Papua from Dutch colonialism. From the Banteng Square down the Pejambon street is today the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and nearby the Dutch built grand Imanuel Protestant Church, where opposite stands the Gambir Station.

Further down Jalan Merdeka Selatan comes the Menteng area, which was once the residential area of the Dutch elite. The Menteng area is now a conservation area, where no houses may be altered without special permit, and therefore it remains an upmarket residential part of town where colonial houses with manicured gardens are.