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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Medan Grand Mosque





Beside the Maimoon Palace, The Medan Grand Mosque was another architectural heritage of Deli Sultanate. the mosque is still utilized by the local community for daily prayers. Like The Maimoon Palace, the building materials of the mosque were taken from Italy. The Grand Mosque which was built in 1906 by Sultan Makmun Al-Rasyid is the most beautiful and magnificence mosques in North Sumatera. It is situated about 200 m from The Maimoon Palace.


The specific architecture of the mosque was inspired by the Moorish style.The dome of the Al Ma'sum Mosque that had flat and quadrangle shape also in the peak of the roof has the usual crescent moon decoration was also found in other Islamic buildings like the Mosque and the tower that according to the experts often were connected as the symbol of peacefulness, where Islam was broadcasted without violence.


Apart from the plan, dome, curves (arcade), the crescent moon decoration on its peak, the influence of Islamic art is clearly visible in its Ornamentation, whether on the wall, the ceiling, the poles, and the curved surface (face Arcade) that was rich in the decoration of flowers and winding plants painted with oil paint. This floralistic decoration apart from being styled reminds to the Tumpal and mekara motive, also painted with Naturalistic style. Except the floral motive and geometric motive, the combination between Polygonal, Octagonal and circle decorations was also appealing. The motive of this kind especially very much found in walls, the curved surface, the ceiling etc. This motive was also found in the iron curtain form of the quadrangle windows and the shape of the curve that reminded us to motive the Indian style wall carving. In Indonesia, this kind of decoration was often acknowledged as the Terawangan or Kerawangan decoration,apart as being a decoration, this decoration also unction as ventilation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Maimoon Palace


The palace was built by Sultan Makmun Al-Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah.
It was constructed by the design of an Italian architect in 1888 AD.
As a legacy of Melayu-Deli Sultanate,it is dominated with yellow color, the Melayu typical color.The Maimoon Palace was built on a land of 2.772 m2 wide in the centre of the Deli kingdom, now Brigjen Katamso street, Medan.


This palace consisted of two floors that were divided into three parts, which are the main building, the left wing, and the right wing. In the front, around 100 meters, stood the Al-Maksum mosque that are well known as the Masjid Raya Medan. In the guest room (balairung) you will encounter the throne that was dominated by the yellow color. Crystal lights lighted the throne, a form of influence of European culture. The same influences are appeared in the palace furnishings like the seat, the table, toilet and the cupboard and the door, headed to balairung. The room measuring 412 m2 was used for the coronation agenda of Sultan Deli or the other traditional agenda. Balairung was also used as the place where the Sultan received praise from his relatives and family in Islamic holidays.


Further more, the number of the rooms was 40, 20 rooms in the upper floor, the Sultan's throne and 20 rooms underneath, not including 4 bathrooms, the warehouse, the kitchen, and the prison in the basement.
Interesting if we observe this palace architectural design. The blend between the Islam tradition and European culture was boldly implemented. Apart from the balairung, the building base also showed Europe influence. Some of the building material was imported from Europe, like floor tiles, marble, and terrazzo.

The pattern of Dutch architecture with the door and wide and tall windows, as well as Spanish stylish doors became a part of the Maimoon Palace. The Dutch influence was also seen in the marble inscription in front of the marble ladder that was written with the Latin letter in Netherlands language.

The Islam influence was seen in the form of the curve or arcade in several parts of the palace roof. The curve that had the shape of the overturn boat that was known with the Persian Curve, often was met on the buildings in the Middle East, Turkey, and India region.


The Maimoon palace was one of the most beautiful buildings in Medan. His location is easy to be reach, both from the Polonia Airport (around 10 km) and the Belawan Port (around 28 km). This historic building was open the public every day from struck 08.00 until 17.00.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Lake Toba



Lake Toba is the most interesting tourist object in the Province of North Sumatera, Indonesia. It is as the largest inland lake in South-East Asia and one of the deepest in the world [ more than 500 metres]. Lake Toba has a length that spans 100 kilometres from Northwest to South and a width of 30 kilometres. Water surface of Lake Toba is around 900 meter of sea level. It’s surrounded by Mount Piso-Piso on the north and Mount Pusuk Bukit on the west.

Parapat, the town in the coast of the lake has many hotels and restaurants which provide good food. But the last five years the number of the tourist decreases which caused some of the hotels closed down, either temporary or for good. Most tourists are local or from neighboring countries. The tourists normally pass through on their way to Samosir Island in Lake Toba. The town offers scenic surroundings, good eating, and souvenir shopping.

Parapat can be reached within 4 hours ride from Medan, the capital city of North Sumatra. There are many souvenir shops along the road down to the market.You can find T-shirts, ceramics, cheap clothes and various souvenirs, the most popular is local made woven blankets called ‘Ulos’.

Samosir Island is accessible by ferry from Ajibata or Parapat. One of the main inhabited areas in the island is Tuktuk. This popular destination offers scenic views at very low prices. People come here to relax, enjoy the sceneries, eat well and cool down from tougher in other areas.
The culture of the local can be seen in the daily life of the villages in Samosir. Western tunes have replaced the harmonic popular songs of the wrll-singing Bataks. In Tomok 200- year old stone sarcophogus of King Sidabutar built in the shape of ship is its most famous sight. It is located a short walk away from the lake. Tomok is also known for Sigale-gale dance.

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