Bandung
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bandung History

The earliest reference to the city dates back to 1488, but archaeological findings suggest a type of Homo erectus species had lived on the banks of the Cikapundung River and around the old lake of Bandung.[10] During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) opened plantations in the Bandung area.

A supply road connecting Batavia (now Jakarta), Bogor, Cianjur, Bandung, Sumedang and Cirebon was built in 1786. In 1809, Louis Napoleon, the ruler of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and its colonies, ordered the Dutch Indies Governor H.W. Daendels to increase the defensive systems of Java against the British from India. Daendels built a road, stretching approximately 1,000 km (621 miles) from the west to the east coast of Java, and passing through Bandung.[11][12] In 1810, the road was laid down in Bandung and was named De Groote Postweg (or the 'main post road'), the present-day site of Asia-Afrika Street.

Under Daendels' orders, R.A. Wiranatakusumah II, the chief administration of the Bandung regency at that time, moved its office from Krapyak, in the south, to a place near a pair of holy city wells (sumur Bandung), the present-day site of the city square (alun-alun). He built his dalem (palace), masjid agung (the grand mosque) and pendopo (public-official meeting place) in the classical orientation.[13] The pendopo faces Tangkuban Perahu mountain, which was believed to have a mystical ambience.

In 1880, the first major railroad between Batavia and Bandung was built,[14] boosting light industry in Bandung. Chinese workers from outside the city flocked in, to help run facilities, services and selling vendor machines. The old Chinatown district in Bandung is still recognisable in the railroad station vicinity. In 1906, Bandung was given the status of gemeente (municipality) and then later as stadsgemeente (city municipality) in 1926.

In the beginning of the 1920s, the Dutch East Indies government made plans to move the capital of Dutch East Indies from Batavia to Bandung. Accordingly, during this decade, the Dutch colonial government started building military barracks, the central government building (Gouvernments Bedrijven, the present-day Gedung Sate) and other government buildings. This plan, however, was cut short by World War II after which the Dutch were not able to re-established their colony.

The fertile area of the Parahyangan Mountains surrounding Bandung supports productive tea plantations. In the nineteenth century, Franz Junghuhn introduced the cinchona (kina) plant.[15] With its cooler elevated landscape, surrounded by major plantations, Bandung became an exclusive European resort area.[16] Rich plantation owners visited the city on weekends, attracting girls and businessmen from the capital, Batavia. Braga Street grew into a promenade street with cafes, restaurants and boutique shops. Two art-deco style hotels, Savoy Homann and Preanger, were built in the vicinity of the Concordia Society, a club house for the wealthy with a large ballroom and a theatre. The nickname "Parijs van Java" was given to the city.

After the Indonesian Independence in 1945, Bandung was determined as the capital of West Java province. During the 1945–1949 independence struggle against the Dutch when they wanted to reclaim their colonies, Bandung was one of the heaviest battle places. The Dutch military commander set an ultimatum for the Indonesian combatants in Bandung to leave the city. In response, on 24 March 1946, much of the southern part of Bandung was deliberately set alight as the combatants left; an event known as the Bandung Lautan Api or 'Bandung Sea of Flame'.

In 1955, the first Asian-African Conference -- also known as the Bandung Conference -- was held in Bandung, attended by head of states representing twenty-nine countries and colonies from Asia and Africa. The conference venue was at the Gedung Merdeka, the former Concordia Society building. The conference announced 10 points of declaration on world peace promotion and oppositions against colonialism, known as the Declaration of Bandung, which followed by wave of nationalism movements around the globe and remapped the world politics. The conference was also the first international conference of colored people in the history of mankind. Richard Wright in his book, The Color Curtain, captured the epic meanings of the conference for people of color around the world. Even black freedom movement activists in the United States referred Bandung as Afro-Asian solidarity in 1960s.

In 1987, the city boundary was expanded with the Greater Bandung (Bandung Raya) plan; a relocation of higher concentration development outside the city in an attempt to dilute some of population in the old city. During its development, however, the city core is often uprooted, old faces are torn down, lot sizes regrouped, and what was idyllic residence is bustling chain supermarkets and rich banks.

Additional In Indonesian Language

Mengenai asal-usul nama "Bandung", dikemukakan berbagai pendapat. Sebagian mengatakan bahwa, kata "Bandung" dalam bahasa Sunda, identik dengan kata "banding" dalam Bahasa Indonesia, berarti berdampingan. Ngabanding (Sunda) berarti berdampingan atau berdekatan. Hal ini antara lain dinyatakan dalam Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia terbitan Balai Pustaka (1994) dan Kamus Sunda-Indonesia terbitan Pustaka Setia (1996), bahwa kata bandung berarti berpasangan dan berarti pula berdampingan.

Pendapat lain mengatakan, bahwa kata "bandung" mengandung arti besar atau luas. Kata itu berasal dari kata bandeng. Dalam bahasa Sunda, ngabandeng berarti genangan air yang luas dan tampak tenang, namun terkesan menyeramkan. Diduga kata bandeng itu kemudian berubah bunyi menjadi Bandung. Ada pendapat lain yang menyatakan bahwa kata Bandung berasal dari kata bendung.

Pendapat-pendapat tentang asal dan arti kata Bandung, rupanya berkaitan dengan peristiwa terbendungnya aliran Sungai Citarum purba di daerah Padalarang oleh lahar Gunung Tangkuban Parahu yang meletus pada masa holosen (± 6000 tahun yang lalu).

Akibatnya, daerah antara Padalarang sampai Cicalengka (± 30 kilometer) dan daerah antara Gunung Tangkuban Parahu sampai Soreang (± 50 kilometer) terendam menjadi sebuah danau besar yang kemudian dikenal dengan sebutan Danau Bandung atau Danau Bandung Purba. Berdasarkan hasil penelitian geologi, air Danau Bandung diperkirakan mulai surut pada masa neolitikum (± 8000 - 7000 sebelum Masehi). Proses surutnya air danau itu berlangsung secara bertahap dalam waktu berabad-abad.

Secara historis, kata atau nama Bandung mulai dikenal sejak di daerah bekas danau tersebut berdiri pemerintah Kabupaten bandung (sekitar decade ketiga abad ke-17). Dengan demikian, sebutan Danau Bandung terhadap danau besar itu pun terjadi setelah berdirinya Kabupaten Bandung.