NATIONAL MONUMENT

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The National Monument known in Indonesia as Monas the abbreviation of Monumen Nasional was completed it’s construction in 12 July 1975 after a long working of 14 years since its first foundation in 17 August 1961 by the first president of Indonesia Soekarno. Although he faced to many internal problems in keeping the stability of the country, with still strong pressure from the colony, he initiated many ambitious project in the on going process of country’s administrative organization such as Ancol, Istiqlal Mosque, many five star hotels, National Monumentthe Parlement Building, various national enterprises, first longest bridge in Palembang, airports, schools and health care centers, and many other inumberable constructions for the country. Due to his open policy on the issue of west – east tension toward the communism caused his fall.

The Monument

The type of the monument is called obelisk a type of single massive trunk with the height of 132 meters. According to some information that the idea of this foundation is to commemorate and memorize he struggle of the Indonesian for independence. This is why the location or square where the tower is constructed is called lapangan merdeka or independence square, in Indonesian lapangan Merdeka.

The Process of Concept

The concept of the monument was immediately premeditated by president Soekarno by inviting designers to present their ideas. It is said that one who can almost met the idea was Frederich Silaban. The idea was in the shape of Lingga and Yoni which was the myth of creation in old Hindu, comparable with Venus myth to the Yoni. Actually it can not be fully called myth, because it is a symbolization of a real action of living being such as formation, creation, sustainability and the like. Such a symbol can preserve the cultural ideas that make the personality of the nation, but it can change meaning in the course of history or a different school of thought abolishes it to corrupt the personality formation of a nation. Since the size of the monument is said to big Soekarno asked to make it smaller, but was refused by Frederich Silaban, and then asked architect R.M. Soedarsono to continue with the design. Soedarsono used the numbers 17, 8 and 45, in the design to represent the date of proclamation of independence event. With this redesign then the construction was started among difficult, young and many movements separatism internally, plus the heavy burden of freeing West Papua from colony.

The Construction of Monas

The construction was divided into 3 stages, from 1961/1962 through 1964/1965, 1966 through 1968 the stage that was delayed due to political upheaval, and third was 1969 – 1975. The first platform based with construction in the form of cawan ( goblet ) clad with Italian marble, where obelisk sits made in the size of 45 square m, at the height of 17 m, with height of obelisk 117.7 m. At the north direction from the tower is pond with the size of 25 x 25 m constructed to give cooling effect to the tower, and further north is the statue of Pangeran Diponegoro carved by Italian artist Cobertldo.

National History Museum

This one of the most interesting scene of Monas that presenting the dioramas of Indonesian history very important for every Indonesian to know as this is their personal formation as Indonesian. The presentation starting from prehistory, construction of Borobudur, Sriwijaya, Singasari, Majapahit and colonization period, local movements, modern organization in the turn of 20th century, Japanese occupation, independence proclamation, and aftermath developments including Soeharto era which called themselves as New Order.

Viewing Platform

The middle first platform on top of the cawan provides visitors with views from a height of 17 meters. This middle platform is accessible through the elevator on the way down from the main observation deck (the lift stops on the way down at the cawan to allow visitors to exit) or through stairs from below.

The highest viewing platform is at a height of 115 meters above land. The capacity of the elevator is about 11 people. The top platform can accommodate about 50 people. There is also a staircase for use in emergencies, but there is mechanic lift also available to reach this platform. It is topped by a 14.5 ton bronze Flame pleated with 35 kg gold, and was added again in 1995 another 15 kg golf cover pleating. It is really amazing to know that during such difficult time Indonesia was still able to build something that we do not see at the later stages except increasing the number of government staffs, and added bulk number of lagislatory members in central and lower levels.

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