Explore the heart of nature

Medan, the capital of North Sumatra is a city that gives its visitors a graphic tale of its past. This city strikes a balance between preserving the old world charm and modern urbanization. Medan has a great display of Dutch and Islamic architecture. Medan hotels offer a comfortable stay at great prices.

The Bukit Barisan Military Museum commemorates events from the freedom struggle. It has a great display of weaponry used during that period. There are also a number of frescoes depicting scenes from the Sumatran Rebellion of 1958. There are a number of places that retain memories of the Old Dutch colonies that once ruled here. The City Hall, Tirtanadi Water Tower and the Central Post Office are some of the must visits.

The Grand Mosque is one of Medan’s most popular architectural wonders. Designed and built in a Moroccan style by Dutch Architect, Dingemans in 1906 characterizing ornate jalli work, stained glass and exquisite Italian marble, this mosque is a visual treat. Another great attraction from the Islamic period is the Maimoon Palace built during the Deli Sultanate. This grand structure is home to the Sultan of Deli. The main hall is open for public visit and ceremonial purposes.

Another frequently visited museum in Sumatra is the Museum of North Sumatra. This museum has a very impressive collection of ancient artifacts representing the Sumatran culture and heritage. Its collections include a number of stone carvings, weaponry, pottery, gemstones and jewelry from different periods of Sumatra’s history.

The Tjong A fie Mansion is Medan’s most famous ancestral home which once belonged to a famous merchant of the Hakka family. This impressive building depicts volumes of traditional Sumatran culture preserved beautifully in woodwork and masonry. Built in the vernacular style of Deli, this mansion is a symbol of luxury and prosperity. The architecture is characterized by tall windows with fan arches, balustrades and balconies, stained glass and intricate woodwork. The interiors are furnished with grand teak furniture with gold inlay, beautiful paintings, teak pillars and impressive chandeliers. The mansion has also been beautifully draped with rich fabrics.

Medan is indeed a centre for Indonesian architecture that gives its visitors a lesson on the grandeur of Islamic and Dutch colonial styles. This is a city of great historic interest that has managed to preserve its treasures in brick and stone splendidly. A must visit for those interested in vernacular art and architecture.

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