Jam Gadang

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Coordinates: 0°18′19″S 100°22′10″E / 0.305210°S 100.3694°E / -0.305210; 100.3694

Jam Gadang
Jam Gadang in May 2011
Location Bukittinggi
Designer Yazid Abidin, Sutan Gigi Ameh & Haji Moran
Height 26 metres (85 ft)
Beginning date 1926
Completion date 1926
Dedicated to Bukittinggi City Secretary

Jam Gadang (literally "Big Clock") is a clocktower and major landmark of the city of Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is located in the centre of the city, near the main market, Pasar Atas, and is a tourist attraction. This clocktower has large clocks on each side and was given the name "Jam Gadang" (English: big clock).


The original clock tower before shape alteration.

The structure was built in 1926 during the Dutch colonial era, as a gift from the Queen to city's controleur. It was designed by architects Yazin and Sutan Gigi Ameh. Originally a rooster figure was placed on the apex, but it was changed into a Jinja-like ornament during the Japanese occupation. Following Indonesian independence, it was reshaped to its present form resembling traditional Minangkabaun roofs (see Rumah gadang). It is said to have cost 3,000 guilder.

Clock structure[edit]

Each clock face has a diameter of 80 centimetres (31 in). Its base is 13 by 4 metres (43 ft × 13 ft) and stands 26 metres (85 ft) tall. The Towerclock was made by Bernard Vortmann - Turmuhrenfabrik - in Recklinghausen (Germany) Factory master was Hermann Kuebber (Kübber), Recklinghausen

One unique clock feature uses "IIII" for the number 4 instead of the traditional Roman number "IV". Based on a local story, the four vertical lines represents the four workers who died while constructing the building.

The laying of the Jam Gadang cornerstone was done by the 6-year-old son of Rook Maker, the city secretary of Bukittinggi at the time.


Given its iconic appearance, the structure is a frequent object of local souvenirs. It is printed on apparel, painted, used as a sculpting model, and so forth. As of January 2008, it cost 50,000 rupiahs (around US $5) to enter the tower.

Its plaza serves as the centre of New Year celebration in Bukittinggi.

See also[edit]