Lawang Sewu Building in Semarang City, Central Java Province


When it is about Indonesia historical tourism, Semarang City offers a major vacation destination called Lawang Sewu Building. In terms of name, “Lawang” means doors and “Sewu” means a thousand. As people may expect, the building has lots of doors as if it comes with a thousand of it. This majestic structure is located in Sekayu Village and belongs to Central Semarang Sub-District, actually. Well, the site has lots of interesting allures that visitors can enjoy for sure. First, it is the fact that the building has been there since the reign of the Dutch. Also, the building emits a creepy nuance and has some mystical stories! Some people even visit it at night to test their guts!

The Nuance
Even though people call it a thousand-doors building, doesn’t mean it comes with such exact number of doors. According to the local government, there are only 342 doors. No wonder, the size of the building is considered huge and it has a distinct design as well. Still, it’s based on the Dutch architecture. The good thing is the structure is located on the roadside, so it is quite noticeable and accessible. During weekends or holidays, some illegal tour guides are seen on the entrance of the building. Even though they offer a nice guiding service, they often charge too high! So, tourists must be able to negotiate first before using the service.

Exploring Lawang Sewu
Most people who come to Lawang Sewu have the same motive in visiting the site. What is that? They want to learn the history of the building. According to the locals, the building was once used as the base of PT KAI (The Indonesian Railway Company). In fact, during the reign of the Dutch, it was used as an office. At the time, it became the eyewitness of the conflict between Indonesia and Netherland. For the information, the construction began in 1904 and it finished in 1907. The architects were definitely the Dutch. This explains why the design represents those of European buildings.

Aside from learning the history, people come to Lawang Sewu to conduct exploration. The building consists of many rooms after all. At the basement, there is watery underground which was used as a prison back then. At the top of the building, a vast ballroom resides. Several bats also live in that room actually. For those who love a thrilling experience, they must visit Lawang Sewu in the evening! The nuance would be more mystical, for sure.

Another common thing to do in Lawang Sewu is photography. Tourists can simply take photos either outside or inside the building. Sometimes, couples even conduct a pre-wedding photo session there. The structure is valuable enough as the background of photography, after all.

Nearby Attractions

  • Mandala Bakti Museum
  • Kampung Pelangi
  • DP Mall

How to Get There
From the downtown, tourists can take any available transportation service and head to Lawang Sewu Building directly. Their destination is none other than Central Semarang Sub-District. Later, they only need to reach Sekayu Village where the building resides. Have no worries. The trip only takes about 11 minutes, as the distance is 5 km. As for the fastest route, it is Pandanaran Street.

Where to Stay

  • Rooms Inc.
  • POP Hotel
  • The Pinnacle Hotel
  • Louis Kienne Hotel


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