Cultural History Tourism in Malang
Cultural History Tourism in Malang
By Rohmawati Salamun
Malang, city with thousands cultural tourism sites. This article will show you – not too much, but maybe just enough – some place that should be visited if you are interested in history and heritage in Malang, East Java.
1. Eng An Kiong Chinese Temple.
Eng An Kiong is one of the most historical site in Malang. It is located at Jalan Laksamana Matadinata No. 1 Malang, East Java. It is a temple which also named as the place of worship for those who profess such religions: “Ji” (Konghucu); Too (Tao); and Sikh (Buddha). Despite of the fact that it is a temple – which is normally known for worshipping –, this place also become one of the most outstanding tourism icon that placed in Malang City. The name of “Eng An Kiong” found on the building of the temple is known as a holy appellation. It has a meaning of “the palace of salvation in the eternity of god”. The name then presented to honor Kongco (in other words, your Honour) Hok Tik Cing Sien, which is meant (having blessing in virtue). There are some days that is celebrated in Eng An Kiong temple. For example, the establishment of Eng An Kiong temple is commemorated at date 6 month 6 in the lunar calendar (or called Khongcu-lik). On that day, people are held an event named Cia Pene An by giving free food for the visitors or the citizens surrounding. Another celebration is celebrating the birthday of Kwan Im Goddess. In this celebration day, people are holding such kinds of ritual ceremony that commonly watched by the visitors for its uniqueness tradition. The ritual is held by the Chinese descents. One other famous ritual in this temple is Chiam Si, luck forecast. It is commonly intended for the Chinese people and also the visitors.
In spite of being one of the ancient temple in Malang, Eng An Kiong temple which is the heritage of the seventh derivation of the Ming Dynasty has the great elements of arts. Beautiful ornaments are spread all over the temple. These ornaments spoil the visitors’ eyes for the incredible meanings of the high arts’ elements. Furthermore, there is also a fish pond that full of goldfish. For respecting the people who is doing the worship in the temple, visitors are not allowed to take pictures. That is for preventing the outside visitors to disturb the sacred moment for the people.
2. Masjid Agung Jami’Malang
Mosque is a very crucial institution for Muslims. It is a religious means which has a strategic significance for Muslims. Commonly, Muslims do any activity that related to religious aspects, social issues, and cultural in broad sense in mosque. That is similarly happen in this Malang Central Mosque.
Malang Central Mosque is the prime mosque in Malang city. It is located at Jalan Merdeka Barat No. 3 Malang. The location of the mosque is quite strategic in the city centre. The Malang Central Mosque is a great mosque which was established in 1890 AD on the land of the Goepernemen or state land of about 3,000 m2. According to the existing inscriptions, the mosque was built in two stages. The first stage was built in 1890 AD, then the second stage began on March 15th, 1903, and was completed on September 13th, 1903. The building of this mosque has a square shape which is made of steel structure with two tajug roofs that is overlap one to another. Tajug is a pyramidal or pyramid square (i.e. an equilateral square base with a peak) ornament which is usually used for sacred buildings in Southeast Asia. In addition, the existence of this mosque’s original building is still maintained until now.
The form of the mosque is derived from two architectural styles, Java architecture and Arabic architecture. The Javanese architectural style can be seen from the roof of the old mosque building, that is tajug. Meanwhile, the Arab architecture can be seen from the dome form on the minarets of the mosque and also the construction of arch on doors and windows.
Basically, the entire building of the mosque is sacred. The main sacred spot in the building is the mihrab – the priest’s place, because there are still some ancestral graves of the founders of the mosque. According to Drs. HM Kamilun Muhtadin, the second takmir (mosque board) in Malang Central Mosque, there are three mosques in East Java that have ‘charisma’ and that is mustajabah – a sacred place where the prayers are usually answered. When we do the i’tikaf (an Islamic practise when people sitting in a mosque for couples of hours or even days, devoting to do religious activity and staying away from any worldly affair) in that sacred place, we will get peace. Also when we pray there, our prayers will definitely being answered by God. That three places are: Ampel Mosque Surabaya, Pasuruan Central Mosque, and Malang Central Mosque.
3. Ijen Cathedral
Ijen Cathedral is located in the centre of Malang, exactly at Jalan Guntur No. 2, Malang. It is located at a strategic location and had beautiful architecture make the building become the attention for anyone who crossed the road. This place is a kind of favourite place for photographers and observers. The cathedral is designed by Rijksen en Estourgie a Dutch architect and built by NV Bouwundig Buerau Siten en Louzada. It was built on February 11th 1934. Formerly this cathedral was named Theresiakerk or Church of Santa Theresia, then until 1961the church was renamed the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel.
In addition, the cathedral is indeed one of the Dutch colonial relics. It can be seen from the building. Along the cathedral there are also some other colonial relics buildings. It is located on Ijen Boulevard. Interestingly, this cathedral is the embodiment of the typical Dutch Neo-Gothic architecture, therefore it is a historic ancient relic. It has this Gothic style on the arch that meets upward which gives an upward expression that fits perfectly with the building of worship.