The Zion Church, Indonesia’s oldest church
Jakarta’s oldest church
This stoic church is the oldest standing church in Jakarta. Original architectural elements date back to 1695: copper chandeliers (built to use real candles!), a baroque style ebony pulpit, and Dutch family placards on the walls. The church even has an original 600 pipe organ on the balcony, still played at mass the first Sunday of every month.
The New Portuguese Outer Church, it was located outside the city wall. It was a church for ‘black Portuguese’, slaves captured from Portuguese trading posts in India and Malaya and brought to Jakarta. Many were Catholic, but given their freedom on the condition that they joined the Dutch Reformed Church. The converts were known as ‘Mardijkers’ or the liberated ones, and their heritage still lives on today.
Nice to know
In the back of the church you find the tomb of General Reniersen and his wife Judith. Reniersen was the founder of the church but died before it was complete. Today churchgoers consider him a great humanitarian for defending the Portuguese slaves and providing them a place of worship.