The National Monument (Indonesian: Monumen Nasional, abbreviated Monas) is a 132 m (433ft) tower in the centre of Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta, symbolizing the fight for Indonesia. It is the national monument of the Republic of Indonesia, built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesian independence.
Construction began in 1961 under the direction of President Sukarno. Monas was opened to the public in 1975. It is topped by a flame covered with gold foil. The monument and the museum are open daily from 08.00 – 15.00 Western Indonesia Time (UTC+7) throughout the week except for the last Monday of each month when the monument is closed.
The construction of Monas proceeded in three stages. The first period, from 1961/1962–1964/1965 began with the official start of construction on 17 August 1961 with Sukarno ceremonially driving in the first concrete pile. A of total of 284 piles were used for the foundation block. A further 360 piles were driven in for the museum foundations, with work being completed in March 1962. The walls of the museum in the base were completed by October. Construction of the obelisk than commenced and was finished in August 1963. Work in the second stage, from 1966 to 1968 was delayed by shortages of funding and the aftermath of the 30 September Movement coup attempt. In the final phase, from 1969–1976, the dioramas for the historical museum were added. Problems remained once construction was complete, and work was needed to solve problems with water leaking into the museum. Monas was officially opened to the public on 12 July 1975. The location of Monas is known as Merdeka Square.
he twering monument encapsulates the philosophy of Lingga and Yoni. Lingga resembles an alu rice pestle and Yoni resembles a lesung rice mortar, two important traditional Indonesian tools. Lingga and Yoni also symbolize harmony, balance, fertility and eternal life with the lingga phallic symbol, representing masculinity, positive elements, and daytime and the Yoni the female organs symbol, representing femininity, negative elements, and night. The monument consists of a 117.7m obelisk on a 45m square platform at a height of 17m, the goblet yard. The obelisk itself is clad with Italian marble.
The northern pond measuring 25×25 m was designed to cool water for the air conditioning system of Monas as well as to enhance the beauty of the surrounding area. To the north, there is a statue of Indonesia national hero Prince Diponegoro by Italian sculptor Cobertaldo.
The National History Museum
The Indonesian National History Museum has a display of dioramas in the large marble-lined hall below Monas. There are a total of 51 dioramas around the walls and in the centre of the hall. The dioramas begins in the northeastern corner, displaying the scenes from Indonesian history from the beginning during the earliest days of Prehistoric Indonesia, the construction of Borobudur, the Srivijaya and Majapahit eras, followed with events from the period of European colonization and uprisings against Dutch East Indies Company and Dutch East Indies rule. The dioramas continue well into the 20th century showing the Japanese occupation, the proclamation of Indonesian independence in 1945, the struggle for independence of Indonesian revolution, and on to events during the New Order era of Suharto’s regime.