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Jakarta or Djakarta (both: jəkärˈtə, jäkärˈtä), city and special district (1990 pop. 8,227,746), capital and largest city of Indonesia, NW Java, at the mouth of the canalized Ciliwung River, on Jakarta Bay, an inlet of the Java Sea. It is the country's administrative, commercial, industrial, and transportation center, with food-processing plants, ironworks, automobile-assembly plants, textile mills, chemical factories, tanneries, sawmills, electronics plants, and printing establishments. Its port, Tanjungpriok, is Indonesia's largest, handling most of the country's export-import trade. Exports consist mainly of agricultural, forest, and mining products. There is an international airport.

The city has three sections—the old town in the north, with Javanese, Chinese, and Arab quarters; central Jakarta, with high-rise buildings; and a modern residential garden suburb in the south. With its many canals and drawbridges, North Jakarta resembles a Dutch town. Landmarks include the architectural monuments built during President Sukarno's long rule—freedom statues, a huge sports complex (financed by the Soviet Union), and the Istiqlal Mosque. Jakarta is the seat of the Univ. of Indonesia. There are notable museums and several 17th-century houses and churches.

The Dutch founded (c.1619) the fort of Batavia near the Javanese settlement of Jakarta, repulsing English and native attempts to oust them. Batavia became the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company and was a major trade center in the 17th cent. It declined in the 18th cent., following rebellions against the Dutch, but prospered again with the introduction of plantation cultivation in the 19th cent. From 1811 to 1814, Jakarta was the center of British rule in Java. Batavia was renamed Jakarta in Dec., 1949, and was proclaimed the capital of newly independent Indonesia. In recent years Jakarta, especially North Jakarta, has been subsiding significantly, primarily as a result of groundwater depletion by well use, and the city has undertaken construction of a 20-mi (32-km) outer seawall to protect against flooding. Traffic congestion and pollution are also significant problems.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the capital of Indonesia. It is located on the northwestern coast of the island of Java, at the point where the Ciliwung River empties into the Java Sea. Jakarta has a tropical equatorial climate; the average annual temperature is 27°C, precipitation is 1,784 mm a year, and the humidity is 80 percent. Jakarta and its suburbs form the administrative unit of Greater Jakarta. Greater Jakarta has an area of 577 sq km. The population was 4.4 million in 1970. The city is growing rapidly: the population rose from 681,000 in 1941 to 1,933,000 in 1957 and to 2,906,500 in 1961. Jakarta is governed by an elected municipal council headed by the mayor of the city.

In the 16th century the city of Sunda Kelapa stood on the site of present-day Jakarta. In 1527, Sunda Kelapa was annexed to Bantam and renamed Jajakerta. The Dutch destroyed Jajakerta in the early 17th century and built the fortress of Batavia on its site in 1619. The city that grew around this fortress was also given the name Batavia in 1621. Batavia was the residence of the governor general and the capital of the colony until the end of Dutch rule in Indonesia in 1945. Beginning in the early 20th century Batavia was a major center of the Indonesian national liberation movement. On Aug. 17, 1945, the independence of Indonesia was proclaimed here, and the city became the capital of the Republic of Indonesia. The city has remained the nation’s capital ever since, except for the period between 1946 and 1949, when Dutch aggression made it necessary to temporarily move the capital to Jogjakarta. In 1949, Batavia was renamed Jakarta.

Jakarta is a major economic center of the country. The industry of Jakarta is concerned with the processing of local products, partly for export, and imported raw materials, largely for servicing the harbor economy. Jakarta is the site of enterprises of the food industry (rice cleaning, tea and coffee processing, flour milling, fish packing, and oil mills), enterprises for the processing of rubber, enterprises producing rubber and leather goods and footwear, textile and clothing enterprises, and metalworking and machine-building enterprises, including shipyards, machine-assembly plants, and machine shops. Numerous handicrafts supply household and artistic goods. Foreign capital is very important in Jakarta’s economy. In 1967 and 1968 the region of Greater Jakarta accounted for about one-half of all the applications of foreign investors for capital investment in Indonesia. Large American, Japanese, West German, and other foreign banks and firms have branches in Jakarta.

Jakarta is a junction of international sea and air communications. Tanjung Priok, the port of Jakarta, located east of the city, is connected with it by a railroad, a highway, and a navigable canal. A large part of the country’s foreign trade passes through the port. Rubber, tea, coffee, quinine, cane sugar, and other products of tropical agriculture are exported; industrial equipment accounts for the bulk of the imports. Kemajoran is the capital’s airport.

The historical nucleus of the city, located in the northern part of Jakarta, has many canals and houses dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Architectural structures include the Penang Gate, built in 1671; the Portuguese church, built in 1695; and the old town hall, built in 1710-12. The new sections of Greater Jakarta are built on a regular plan. Its 19th- and 20th-century structures, which are built in the style of Oriental and European architecture, include the Palace of the President and the Vice President, the Central Hospital, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the bronze monument of Independence, which was built in 1964 by the Soviet sculptor M. G. Manizer and the Soviet architect I. E. Rozhin. In the southwestern part of Jakarta there has recently been large-scale construction of residential houses (one- or two-story cottages), high-rise trade and industrial buildings, and cultural installations, including a sports complex built by the Soviet architect R. I. Semerdzhiev between 1956 and 1962. Most of these structures are built according to modern design and are well adapted to local climatic conditions.

Jakarta’s cultural institutions include the state-run University of Indonesia, several private universities, the national technical institute, the Institute of Sciences of Indonesia, the Institute of Indonesian Culture, various other scientific institutions and societies, the Public Library with more than 42,000 volumes, the library of the Museum of the Institute of Indonesian Culture with 350,000 volumes, the museum of the Institute of Indonesian Culture, the City Museum, the Picture Gallery, and the Hotel Indonesia and Kecil theaters.


Djakarta dewasa ini. [Jakarta, 1955.]
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


, Djakarta
the capital of Indonesia, in N West Java: founded in 1619 and ruled by the Dutch until 1945; the chief trading centre of the East in the 17th century; University of Indonesia (1947). Pop.: 8 347 083 (2000)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


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