St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Jakarta
|Ecclesiastical or organizational status||Cathedral|
|Location||Sawah Besar Subdistrict, Central Jakarta, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia|
|Architect(s)||Antonius Dijkmans, SJ|
|Construction cost||628,000 Dutch Guldens (in 1891)|
|Direction of façade||West|
|Height (max)||60 metres|
|Spire height||60 metres|
|Materials||bricks covered with plaster, teak roof construction, and iron construction spires.|
Jakarta Cathedral (Indonesian: Gereja Katedral Jakarta, Dutch: Kathedraal van Jakarta) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Jakarta, Indonesia, which is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Jakarta, currently Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo. Its official name is Gereja Santa Perawan Maria Diangkat ke Surga (from Dutch, De Kerk van Onze Lieve Vrouwe ten Hemelopneming, in English: The Church of Our Lady of Assumption). This current cathedral was consecrated in 1901 and built in the neo-gothic style, a common architectural style to build churches at that time. The Jakarta Cathedral is located in Central Jakarta near Merdeka Square and Merdeka Palace, it stands right in the front of the Istiqlal Mosque.
After the arrival of Dutch East India Company in 1619, the Roman Catholic Church was banned in the East Indies and only survived in Flores and Timor. The Netherlands was known to support Protestantism and tried to limit the influence and authority of the Holy See. During the Napoleonic Wars, the Netherlands fell under the French Empire, including its possession, the colony of Dutch East Indies. In 1806 Napoleon Bonaparte installed his Catholic younger brother Louis Napoleon (Dutch: Lodewijk) as the King of The Netherlands. Since then, the Catholic Church has been free to operate in the East Indies.
The Commissary General of Batavia, Du Bus de Gisignies (1825–1830), was credited with providing land to build the first Catholic church in Batavia. The former residence of General de Kock in the Weltevredeen area was renovated to be a church. Monseigneur Prinsen blessed and inaugurated the church on 6 November 1829 and named it "Our Lady of the Assumption." The church was renovated in 1859, but collapsed on 9 April 1890.
The present church is the one rebuilt between 1891 and 1901. Pastor Antonius Dijkmans, SJ was appointed as the architect. Construction was halted due to a lack of funding, but the church's new bishop, Mgr E. S. Luypen, SJ, raised the necessary funds in The Netherlands and architect MJ Hulswit resumed construction in 1899. "De Kerk van Onze Lieve Vrowe ten Hemelopneming - The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption" was blessed and inaugurated by Mgr Edmundus Sybrandus Luypen, SJ on 21 April 1901. The church was renovated in 1988 and 2002.
The plan of the cathedral took the form of a cross with a length of 60 meters and 10 meters wide, plus 5 metres on each aisle. It is a cathedral because it contains the "cathedra", the throne of bishop. The main entrance of the building is facing west. At the center of the main portal stands a statue of Our Lady Mary while on top of the portal there is a sentence written in Latin: "Beatam Me Dicentes Omnes Generationes" which means "All generations shall call me blessed". Besides, there is a large round stained glass Rozeta Rosa Mystica, which is the symbol of Mother Mary.
There are three main spires in Jakarta Cathedral: the two tallest ones measured 60 metres tall and are located in front on each side of the portal. The north tower is called Turris Davidica, or "Tower of David"—a devotional title of Mary symbolizing Mary as the refuge and protector against the power of darkness. The south tower, also 60 metres tall, is called "The Ivory Tower", which the whiteness and pureness of ivory describe the pureness of Virgin Mary. On the Ivory Tower, there are old clocks that are still functioning as well as a church bell. The third spire rises above the roof's cross intersection and measured 45 metres tall from the ground, and is called "The Angelus Dei Tower".
The building consists of two floors, the upper floor can be reached from a flight of stairs in the northern tower. Originally, the second floor used to be the place for the choir during masses, but since the cathedral is quite old, there is concern that the building cannot support the weight of too many people upstairs. Today, the upper floor functions as the Jakarta Cathedral Museum, housing the relics of Catholic rituals, such as the silver cups, hats and robes of the Dutch East Indies and Indonesian Archbishops and Cardinals. The museum also displays the history of Roman Catholicism in Indonesia.
On the southern side, there is a statue of Pietà, describing the sadness of Mother Mary while holding the body of Jesus Christ after crucifixion. The wall surrounded the interior have several scenes depicting Stations of the Cross. The cathedral has four pulpits for confession services, two on each side. At the center, there is a high raised wooden podium with shell-shaped roof for sound reflection. The podium was installed in 1905 and display the images of Hell on the lower side while the images of Jesus' sermons and other scenes are on the middle side. The top of the podium display the scene of Heaven adorned with winged angels. On the southern side, there is a large Neo-Gothic style organ made in Verschueren, Belgium, then moved and installed in Jakarta in 1988. This organ was taken from Amby village near Maastricht.
There are three altars in this cathedral: on the left side is "The Altar of Saint Mary", to celebrate the assumption of Mary to Heaven. The altar was made in 1915 by Atelier Ramakers. On the right side is "The Altar of Saint Joseph", completed in May 1922. The throne of bishop called "Cathedra" is located on the left side with three thrones. The main altar located in the center was made in the 19th century in the Netherlands. It was moved from a Jesuit church in Groningen in 1956. In this altar there is a main cross of Jesus and the tabernacle.
The body of the building was made of thick red bricks covered with plaster and applied with patterns to mimic natural stone construction. The large wall was made to support wide-spanned teak beams in the roof construction. The top of the spires was made from iron frame, while the roofs were made of teak wood construction. Actually, iron and wood are not suitable as typical Neo-Gothic architecture materials usually employ stone masonry. However these materials were chosen because they are relatively lighter than stone masonry, considering Indonesia is a region that is prone to earthquakes.
There are a piano, two Electones, and two playable pipe organ.
On its own elevated platform in the south transept sits an attractive organ made by George Verschueren of Tongeren, Belgium, built in 1988. Drawstops were arranged on each side of the key desk and wind was activated from a stop on the left side. Manuals are of four octaves and the flat pedal board of two-and-a-half octaves. The organ loft railing and organ casework reflect the gothic nature of the cathedral and all timbers are stained to match the existing woodwork of the church. Pipes are presented in flats with a large central tower and two f1anking small towers in the left and right extremities of the case.
The stoplist of the organ is:
Manual I (56 notes/4 octaves)
- Gamba 8'
- Bourdon 8'
- Flute 8'
- Nazard 2 2/3'
- Gemshorn 2'
- Trumpet 8'
Manual II (56 notes/4 octaves)
- Bourdon 16'
- Open Diapason 8'
- Stopped Diapason 8'
- Octave 4'
- Fifteenth 2'
- Sesquieltera rk Bass
- Sesquieltera rk Treble
- Mixture IV ranks
Pedal (30 notes/2 1/2 octaves)
- Subbass 16'
- Open Wood 8'
- I + II
- P + I
- P + II
Jakarta Cathedral Pietà
The cathedral during mass
Statue of Christ the King
Saint Francis Xavier statue
- List of church buildings in Indonesia
- List of colonial buildings and structures in Jakarta
- Roman Catholic Marian churches
- Museum Gereja Katedral, Sejuta Pesona Gereja Katedral Jakarta, diterbitkan oleh Gereja St. Maria Diangkat ke Surga, Paroki Katedral Jakarta, 2005.
- "Perjalanan Iman Gereja Katedral" (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Museum Katedral. 2008.
- Lutfi Rakhmawati, 'Cathedral museum counts on volunteers', The Jakarta Post, 7 March 2012.
- Pipe Organs of Indonesia
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jakarta Cathedral.|
- (in Indonesian) Gereja Katedral website