Gedung Sate in Bandung, West Java, has a catchy name for a building. Its acquired such name because of the ornaments on the central pinnacle that resembles a satay. An Indonesian popular skewer delicacy. This iconic landmark acts not only as the seat of West Java government. But also a popular tourist destination.
The building attracts tourists for both its beautiful architecture as well as its rich historical value. Gedung Sate is built in 1920 by the Dutch government who colonized Indonesia at the time. The building has a neoclassical design. Which incorporates elements from many cultures, from east and west.
Gedung Sate’s original name is Departement van Gouvernements Bedrijven or in short, GB building. It was dubbed as the most beautiful building in Java. The government opens the eastern part of the building as a museum. That later claims to be the first government office smart museum in Indonesia.
It uses technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality for its exhibits. Only opened in 2017, the museum since has gathered curious visitors due to its unique concept.
Peeking Inside The Building
If only every corner of the building is accessible for visitors, that would be perfect. Unfortunately, a good portion of the building is a government restricted area. A tour is possible but requires a certain bureaucratic procedure. That involves sending a formal letter a few days before. If there’s no time to do that. There are several parts of the building visitors can take a peek.
First, it’s the reception hall. The first sight to welcome is a bronze rhinoceros statue. Further inside, there are two European style ballrooms. Adorned with tall pillars and hanging chandeliers. An elegant party venue in the past, the ballrooms now often open and accessible when there’s a public event.
Stepping outside to see the exterior. Notice how windows at Gedung Sate is inspired by Moorish architecture. The Moorish style also something people will notice in Spanish renaissance buildings. Balinese architecture inspires its Meru cascading roof design.
Many say that the overall design of Gedung Sate resembles Washington DC’s White House. Which is true, more or less. The 6 satay pieces at the top represent how many millions gulden does it take to finance this building’s construction – spoiler alert, it’s six million.
A well-tended Garden
Stepping further into the courtyard is the well-tended garden of Gedung Sate. A popular spot for locals to hang out during the weekend, the garden is spacious, green, and clean. On Sundays, locals can be seen strolling around.
Or doing some light sporting activity. Street food sellers will join the crowds, offering snacks and refreshing beverages to garden-goers. A refreshing tip, try a cup of pineapple juice to quench the tropical thirst.
Gedung Sate Museum
The technology innovation in Gedung Sate Museum will definitely make up the disappointment. Of not being able to explore the inside of Gedung Sate. Here visitors can learn everything needed to know about the building’s constructions. One corner of the wall is deliberately broken into. Revealing a gaping hole where rocks used as the foundation of the construction.
There are also extensive explanations about Gedung Sate history, from their construction to the present era. The fun comes with trying out every virtual reality exhibits here. Grab the virtual reality glass. And enjoy a virtual journey with a hot air balloon above Gedung Sate.
Want to know how it’s like being a construction supervisor in the 20’s? Head to a special room where an augmented reality technology provides such experience. Warp the visit by watching a short documentary about Gedung Sate in the audio-visual room.
The Tower of Gedung Sate
The best part of the building, the tower of Gedung Sate, is luckily open for public. The tower is accessible by the stairs past the Museum. At the top, there’s a little cafe called Coffee Morning with tables on the tower’s veranda.
Pick a table around this veranda and enjoy a 360 view of Bandung city. Inside the tower, it’s said there’s an old siren which can be heard from the 40-km radius.
Gedung Sate Opening Hours
Gedung Sate opens for public every day except on Monday and the national holiday. The visiting hours are from 9.30 AM to 4 PM. To visit its museum, visitors need to make a reservation first on its official website. And show the digital ticket later on the museum’s entrance.
|Gedung Sate Opening Hours|
|Tuesday – Sunday||09:30 – 16:00|
Gedung Sate Museum Entrance Fee
People can also go show but since they have a quota. It’s always better to book ahead. A ticket to Gedung Sate Museum is IDR 5k per visitor. Guide is available and free, to use guide contact the receptionist.
|Gedung Sate Museum Entrance Fee|
|Children & Adult||Rp5.000|
There are parking space and toilets for Gedung Sate’s basic facilities. The museum offers free wifi across its premises. Restaurants and cafes are abundant around the area. Especially since Gedung Sate is close to a famous Bandung university. The closest hotel is a colonial-style Vio Hotel. Which is located just across the street.
How To Get To Gedung Sate Museum Bandung
Conveniently located in the city center, Gedung Sate is easy to access from any point in Bandung. If coming from Alun-Alun Bandung (Bandung city square) or Asia Afrika Street. Tourists can hop into public van route Stasiun Hall – Sadang Serang. Get down at Citarum Street and continue walking for about 5 minutes. It takes around 25 minutes to Gedung Sate.
From Bandung Railway station, visitors can use public van route Stasiun Hall – Dago. Hop off at Dago-Diponegoro intersection then continue with public van route Ledeng-Cicaheum. From Bandung airport, taxi is the fastest and the most convenient option. While the journey from the airport takes less than 20 minutes, covering a 5,4 km distance.