Ancol is an administrative village (kelurahan) in Pademangan District, North Jakarta, Indonesia. It is located in the coastal lowland of Jakarta. Ancol is bounded by Jakarta Bay to the north, Sunda Kelapa harbor to the west, and Kali Japat canal to the east. Ancol has the area code of 14430.
Ancol has been variously known in history as Anciol, Angiol, Anschiol, Ansjol, Antsyol, Anjool.
The name Ancol was first mentioned in Koropak 406, a palm leaf manuscript written in late 16th century. It stated the attempt of the Sultanate of Banten, Cirebon, and Demak to siege Sunda Kelapa, and that the area of Ancol is considered an important area to attack Sunda Kelapa from the east:
- …Disilihan inya ku prebu Surawisesa, iny nu surup ka padaren, kasuran, kadiran, kuwamen. Prangrang lima welas kali hanteu eleh, ngalakukeun bala sariwu. Prangrang ka Kalapa deung Aaria burah. Prangrang ka Tanjung. Prangrang ka Ancol kiyi….
According to Indonesian National Dictionary (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia), the word Ancol has the same meaning as the word Tanjung, which means "a body of land extending into a body of water / a cape".
The area of modern Ancol was originally a coastal lowlands, characterized with the brackish water area containing mangrove forests and swamps. The area is located to the east of Sunda Kelapa harbor, the main harbor of Sunda Kingdom from 13th to 16th century, and is considered as a weak point for the defense of Sunda Kelapa. Sunda Kelapa port served the capital, the Hindu Sundanese kingdom of Pakuan Pajajaran, located about 60 km inland south, along Ciliwung river hinterland, now the site of modern Bogor. According to the Chinese source, Chu-fan-chi, written circa 1200, The people around Sunda Kelapa port worked in agriculture and their houses were built on wooden piles. However, robbers and thieves plagued the country.
When the Portuguese arrived in the late 16th century, the Hindu kingdom of Pakuan Pajajaran welcomed their arrival and hoped that the Portuguese would protect them from the attack by the Islamic Sultanate of Banten, Demak, and Cirebon. Despite their alliance, the three sultanates, under the leadership of Fatahillah, managed to defeat both the kingdom of Pakuan Pajajaran and the Portuguese by attacking the port from the east area, through the area of Ancol. Sunda Kelapa was renamed into Jayakarta.
Later in the 17th century, Jayakarta was defeated by the Dutch. The city was completely eradicated and a new city was developed on the area of Sunda Kelapa on the mouth of Ciliwung River. The new city was called Batavia. During this Dutch colonial period, a fort called Fort Zouteland (Dutch "saline land") was constructed on the area of Ancol. The name came from the fact that the area was occasionally flooded by the sea water. The Dutch built resort houses along the coastal area of Ancol, such as the house of Adriaan Valckenier, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. A canal called Antjolschevaart or Antjolie Vaart and a fort called Ancol (located about 5 kilometer east of old Batavia) was built by the Dutch in Ancol area.
In the early 19th century, during the governmency of Herman Willem Daendels (1808–1811), the old city of Batavia was abandoned because of the increasing malaria plague. In effect, the government create a new town in the south, called Weltevreden, and Batavia grows to the south. Because of this, the area of Ancol was left undeveloped.
During the Japanese occupation, the swampy area of Ancol was used as places of execution and mass grave for those who opposed the Japanese troops. These victims were later reburied in a new cemetery on the coast of Ancol, Ancol Cemetery, inaugurated on September 14, 1946. The cemetery, also known as the "cemetery of the executed", contains more than 2,000 victims of execution during the Japanese occupation, many of whom are unknown. Because of its close proximity to the coast, the cemetery is threatened by sea water flooding.
The first idea to develop the area of Ancol into a resort was initiated by Indonesia's first president, Soekarno, in 1965. The idea opposed the first idea of developing Ancol into an industrial area. The development was started during the governency of Ali Sadikin, the governor of Jakarta in 1966. The first facility is the Bina Ria Ancol beach, best known for its drive-in theater especially during the 1970s. The Dunia Fantasi theme park was built in 1984. Today, the 552 hectare recreation area is known as the Ancol Jakarta Bay City, contains hotels, cottages, beaches, a theme park, traditional market places, an oceanarium, a golf field and marina.
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