Bogor Palace

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Bogor Palace
Istana Bogor.jpg
Bogor Palace seen from the Bogor Botanical Gardens
General information
Architectural style Neoclassical
Location Jalan Ir. H. Juanda, Bogor Tengah
Bogor, West Java, Indonesia
Construction started 1744
Renovated rebuilt 1856
Client Dutch East Indies Governor-General

The Bogor Palace (Indonesian:Istana Bogor, Dutch:Het Paleis te Buitenzorg) is one of 6 Presidential Palaces of Indonesia, it is located in the city of Bogor, West Java. The palace is noted for its distinctive architectural, historical, features, as well as the adjoining botanical gardens. Istana Bogor was opened to the public in 1968 to public tour groups (not individuals), with the permission of the then President of Indonesia, Suharto. The number of visitors annually is approximately 10,000 people. The gardens of the palace have an area of 284,000 square metres (28.4 hectares).

During the colonial era the palace became favorite residence of the Governor Generals due to Bogor's more adaptable climate. The palace was also favored by the late President Sukarno and became the official presidential residence until his downfall in 1967. Recently the new president Joko Widodo moved the president's office from Merdeka Palace to Bogor Palace.[1]


Lithograph of the palace in 1889.
Interior of the palace in 1921, depicting the main hall of the palace.
Interior of the palace in 1921.

The original colonial building on the site of Istana Bogor was a mansion named Buitenzorg (also Sans Souci, meaning: Without a care in Dutch), which dates back to 1745 as a country retreat for the Dutch Governors to escape the heat and diseases of Batavia. The location for the new palace was discovered by Baron van Imhoff on 10th of August 1744, in a village named "Kampong Baroe". On the site he ordered a mansion to be built, however the construction wasn't completed by the end of his career in 1750 and thus it was continued by his preceder Jacob Mossel.[2][3]

An extensive renovation of the palace occurred under Governor General Herman Willem Daendels (1808 – 1811). The palace was further expanded into two floors, with a new wing added in the east and west of the original structure.[2]

In 1811 Stamford Raffles led a successful Invasion to Java and took possesion of the colony until 1814. Raffles had Buitenzorg as his residence due to its more adaptable climate, while conducting most of the council meeting in the palace of Rijswijk in Batavia. During his stay he had the garden of the Buitenzorg palace transformed into an English garden, which became an inspiration for the later botanical garden.[4][3]

Later the new governor general Baron van der Capellen (1817-1826) added a small dome on the roof of the main building and founded the botanical garden next to the palace ground. However in 1834, an earthquake triggered by the volcanic eruption of Mount Salak, heavily damaged the old palace of Buitenzorg. The palace was rebuilt into its present form in 1856— this time with only one storey instead of the original three, as a precaution against further earthquakes.[3]

From 1870 to 1942 the Istana Bogor served as the official residence of the Dutch Governors General, although state affairs were largely conducted in Batavia. After the Indonesian independence, the palace was used often by President Sukarno, but then was largely neglected by Suharto when he came to office.[2][3]


View from the side of the main entrance

The grounds of the estate contain several buildings - the largest of which is the main palace and its two wings. The main palace contains private offices for the head of state, a library, a dining room, a ministers' meeting room, a theater room, and the Garuda room (the main hall for welcoming State guests). The two wings are used as the guest residences for State visits. Kebun Raya Bogor ("Great Gardens of Bogor", the Bogor Botanical Gardens) are also part of the palace grounds.[3]

The palace is decorated with an extensive art collection (448 paintings, 216 sculptures and 196 ceramics), 90% of which were accumulated by Sukarno. The original historic collection of the palace was looted by Japanese and Allied force during WW2, leaving nothing but 5 mirrors in the palace.[5]

A herd of spotted deer can be spotted roaming around the palace garden, they are native to India and Nepal. The deers were originally brought by the Governor General Daendels for hunting and sport.


There are many sculptures of various origin decorating the palace garden, some of them are noteworthy:[6][5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Asril, Sabrina (February 22, 2015). "Pindah ke Istana Bogor, Jokowi Dianggap Lakukan Pemborosan Anggaran". Retrieved February 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Sejarah Berdirinya Istana Bogor,
  4. ^ Lady Sophia Raffles (1835). Memoir of the life and public services of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles 1. p. 140-141. ISBN 978-1175036674. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Gatra, Sandro (June 18, 2011). "Si Denok yang Memikat Hati..". Retrieved February 22, 2015. 
  6. ^ Anindiati Nursastri, Sri (October 31, 2014). "Kembaran Patung 'Little Mermaid' di Denmark, Ada di Istana Bogor!". Retrieved February 22, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 6°35′52.92″S 106°47′50.41″E / 6.5980333°S 106.7973361°E / -6.5980333; 106.7973361