In the end of 19th century, Batavia has two train stations in the Noorden Batavia (near Pasar Ikan) and Zuideljk Batavia (Station BEOS). In this night journey, I want to take a viewing of Station of BEOS (Bataviasche Ooster Spoorweg Maatschappij) at the middle of the night. A slight of compliment as great history of Jakarta. I took the view of BEOS from surrounding stationplein, Benedenstad. Even from the landscape viewer in the top of NHM.
BEHIND THE BEOS: RAILWAY STATION KOTABATAVIA
The Old Zuidelijk Batavia, former station before BEOS, was established since 1870, but it was closed in 1926. Afterwards, the BEOS was built about 200 m from this old Zuidelijk Batavia station.
Ir. Frans Johan Louwrens Ghijsels was the person behind the great luminous building. Together with his colleagues Ir. Hein von Essen and Ir. F. Stolts planned to build the great station in Batavia. They were AIA’s architects. Designed about 1927-28. It spent about a year to construct this building from 1928-29.
The project was finished on 19 August 1929 and officially opened on 8 October 1929 by Governor General JKHR AC de Graef (1926-31). There was a selamatan or banquet. In the afternoon two buffalo heads were buried to protect the new station from catastrophe.
From this railway station, the passenger can reach any destinations to other cities or developing towns surrounding Batavia at the time such as Bekassie, Karavam, Buitenzorg, and Parijs van Java, even travel to any other cities in Java.
THE DESIGN: HET INDISCHE BOWEN
BEOS is the masterpiece of Ghijsels’ work as known “het indische bowen”. It means blend of structure and technique between western and traditional designs. This building was garnished by art deco style that is the Ghijsels’ state of art.
The arched entrance in front facade is repeated on smaller scale at both sides of station.
The spacious station hall has a gallery around the first floor to give access to various offices. Art deco ornamentation is used sparingly throughout the entire building. Also, there were the clocks in the square in front of in the main entrance in the same style.
THE JAVABODE’S PRESS RELEASE
Press released by The Javabode on 17 October 1929:
“ Batavia South stands as a monument to show us and our descendents what should be understood by economies. It has become a station which makes a commanding impression and can be regarded as one of the most beautiful in the east!”.