Chandra Naya, Traditional Chinese House, Jakarta, Java

high-definition creative commons photographs from this Chinese Traditional house, which is surrounded by malls and skyscrapers in Jakarta, Java, together with some further information.


The Chandra Naya Traditional Chinese Heritage Building is located on Jalan Gajah Mada in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. Originally it was a rich man’s house, then it became an Association to help the Chinese, and finally it is a tourist attraction. The house was bought in 1992, and the thought at that time was to relocate it, as the land was needed for development. After protests though the house was renovated, and the skyscrapers and malls were built round it, although some sections of the original house were lost.

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The House in its Surroundings

Peking Opera Masks

History of the Chandra Naya Building

The Chandra Naya Building, also known as the XinMing Association, was previously the residence of Mr. Xu Jin An (Khouw Kim An), a leader in Chinese society during the Dutch Colonial period, who was a leader of Chinese society. Mr. Xu Jin An was born on 5th of June 1879 in what was then known as Batavia (Jakarta).

Mr. Xu Jin An

In 1905, the Netherland’s Colonial Government honoured him with the rank of Lieutenant, and three years later he was promoted to the rank of captain, or Kapiten. In 1910, he was promoted to the position of Mayor. Due to his rank the local residents named the establishment located in 188 Gaja Mada Road, Mayor’s House (Rumah Mayor in Indonesian).

Mr. Xu Jin An was born as a Chinese Indonesian. He was a leader, entrepreneur, and a banker in Chinese Society. He inherited the beautiful building from his late father Mr. Xu Jin Zhuan (Khouw Tjeng Tjoan). He was the son-in-law of another leader of Chinese society and the founder of a Chinese Association, Mr. Poa Keng Hek, who was the son of a Chinese Captain.

Inside there is a beautiful drawing with these words “On the Mid-Autumn of the Year of the Hare” written in Han character. It can be inferred from this drawing that the building was constructed in either 1807 or 1887 in the year of Hare.

Based on historical records Mr. Xu Jin An was previously living in Bogor, south of Jakarta. Aside from the fact that Mr. Xu Jin An was a well-known businessman in Chinese Society, he was also one of the shareholders in the Batavia Bank.

In 1942, when the Japanese invaded Java Island, Mr. Xu Jin An was arrested, and he later died in the detention camp on 13th February 1945, a day prior to the Japanese surrender.

Not long after the War World II ended, around 1945, the XinMing Association (Social Association) was established in this building. The fundamental objective of the Association is to provide a helping hand to Chinese society in Indonesia, but due to the obstacles brought in since the end of the World War II, the Association also wished to provide help to the Chinese in resolving their difficulties during that time.

Since its establishment, XinMing Association has used this building to provide some social exchange activities including:

Since 1965, due to the request from the National Association of Ethnic Unity for Chinese to change their surname and nationalize the name to Indonesian, the Association was renamed as Chandra Naya.

This astounding infrastructure was used generally for social activities and the name of Chandra Naya has been well-known ever since. This originally private residential house therefore became a hall for social activities, inclusive of Medical Centre, Sport Hall and School.

In 1992, Candra Naya sold to the Modern Group owned by Samadikun Harton. In the beginning the owner planned to relocate the house to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, however Sutiyoso, the Governor of Jakarta in 203 did not approve the proposal. There was also strong opposition from lovers of heritage buildings who opposed the removal of the house for the sake of mere business. In February 2012, the main building of Candra Naya was restored and it become part of an integrated commercial and residential complex, Green Central City (GCC).

Text adapted from a signboard at the house, and from the Indonesian Wikipedia article about the house


Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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