Gereja Blenduk

Posted on January 6, 2018
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The unusual copper-domed Gereja Blenduk in the heart of Semarang’s Kota Lama, or old city, is one of Indonesia’s most historic churches, built in 1753 and still welcoming worshippers for regular Sunday services.

On first impressions we though we’d stumbled upon a bank, as churches of this style are rare in Indonesia: built on an octagonal footprint (which in Christian iconography represents the holy star), the imposing white structure is fronted by a classical four-columned portico, flanked by two clocktowers, a style echoed in the more contemporary 20th century-built Lawang Sewu, another of Semarang’s iconic buildings.[/vc_column_text]

The church is inscribed with GPIB (Gereja Potestan Indonesia Barat — West Indonesia Protestant Church) Immanuel—Gereja Blenduk, it’s common name refers to the dome, mblendhuk denotes a bulging shape in Javanese. Except for Sunday’s, the main doors are closed but visitors can gain entry from the side door facing the square and a guardian will point you in the direction of a “donation” box (10,000 rupiah requested).

The interior sanctuary features an ornate baroque-style silver-coloured organ decorated with trumpeting and harp-playing angels, although we’re informed it no longer functions. Behind the organ, an ornamented wrought iron spiral staircase probably leads to the organists station, but we were not permitted to climb up for a peek. Other than the organ and a row of Corinthian columns flanking the eight archways, the white interior is rather restrained.

A circular chandelier hangs from the high central dome of the light-filled church and modest geometric stained-glass windows are designed with simple octagonal patterns, repeated in the yellow, black and brown tile design of the floor. Rattan-backed teak chairs and pews are lined up to face an unusual free-standing teak pulpit with an umbrella-like domed cover echoing the domed ceiling.

As well as visiting this historic church, take your time wandering around Kota Lama, this old city area and visit Semarang Contemporary Art Gallery, stopping for a coffee at the wonderfully restored Spiegel Bar & Bistro

Architecture and layout

Blenduk Church, at 32 Letjen Suprapto Street in the old town of Semarang, Central Java, is located in a small courtyard between former office buildings. The Jiwasraya building is located to the south, across the street, while the Kerta Niaga offices are to its west.

The octagonal church, built on a stone foundation and with single-layer brick walls, has its ground floor at street level. It is topped by a large, copper-skinned dome, from which it gets its common name; the Javanese word mblenduk means dome. The dome is supported by 32 steel beams, 8 large and 24 small. Two towers, square at the base and slowly rounding until topped with a small dome, are located on either side of the main entrance, while a cornice consisting of horizontal lines runs around the building; Roman-style porticoes covered in saddle-shaped roofs are located on its eastern, southern and western faces. Blenduk also features etched and stained glass windows, as well as wood-panel double doors at the south-facing entrance.

The wooden pews inside Blenduk have rattan seats, while the pulpit is completely made of wood and located on an octagonal platform made of teak.[1][5] A nonfunctional Baroque pipe organ from the 1700s is also located inside.[1][4] The floor is covered in black, yellow, and white tiles.[5] In the northern part of the interior is a spiral staircase, etched with name of its manufacturer, Pletterij den haag (Rolling Mill, The Hague), which leads to the second floor. ( Source : https://www.travelfish.org and https://en.wikipedia.org )

No entrance fee here to visit The Protestant Church in Western Indonesia Immanuel Semarang, for a tourist visit you must make an appointment in advance, Ph. +62 24 554 271

Gereja Blenduk is open to visitors Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 16:00, and Sundays 13:00 to 16:00. Sunday services are at 06:00 and 09:00.

Located on Central Java’s north coast, Semarang city is easily accessible either by air, train, bus or car. The Ahmad Yani International Airport offers international routes and domestic flights which are available from Jakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Bandung, Balikpapan and Banjarmasin.

If you prefer travelling by road, a number of railway services travel through Semarang. Most express trains travel from Jakarta to Surabaya in East Java or vice versa passing Semarang and Cirebon in West Java. Alternatively, there are also many bus services to Semarang from various cities in Java. Rosalia Indah, Raya and Safari Dharma Raya are some of the best reputed bus companies.

From Yogyakarta, you can travel north by car, taking only a couple of hours. The building is on Jalan Pemuda, facing the Tugu Muda roundabout, close to Semarang’s city center.

Address : Jalan Pemuda and Jalan Pandanaran Semarang.
Get direction : https://goo.gl/maps/xjSqpRNHPuu

Famous areas include a cluster around Simpang Lima that is known for pecal (vegetables with spicy peanut sauce), nasi liwet (rice cooked in coconut milk with various extras) and seafood stalls, but tons of other options are available too, open from early morning until late. Popular stalls include Pecal Yu Sri, Nasi Liwet Bu Widodo and Pandowo Limo Seafood. After dinner take a spin around the square in one of the fun illuminated pedal cars.

Jalan Pandanaran is where local tourists head to pick up take-home packs of Semarang’s renowned bandeng presto (pressure-cooked milk fish) among other local food oleh-oleh (souvenirs). You can sit down to try some samples at Waroeng Bandeng Juwana.

The large Chinese population in Semarang means a wide selection of Chinese food is available (pork lovers rejoice).The best lumpia, or spring rolls, are reputed to be from Lumpia Gang Lombok near Tay Kak Sie Temple. Available goreng or basah—fried or “wet”, which means fresh, similar to Vietnamese rolls for 15,000 rupiah, served with a generous plate of pickles, sambals and raw veggies. Once you’ve has your fill (they are huge), head next door to Es Cao for a refreshing bowl of es buah, a mountain of shaved ice with fruit, grass jelly and syrup (24,000 rupiah).

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