Lawang Sewu is one of the old Dutch colonial buildings in the city of Semarang. Built in 1904, it was used as a headquarters for the Nederlandsch Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij, the national raiway of the Dutch East Indies. Later during the Japanese occupation it was also used as a prison and was used by the Indonesian government after Indonesia's independence.
Lawang Sewu means a Thousand Doors, a name taken from the design of the building with many doors and arcs. Although there are many doors at Lawang Sewu the name luckily does not actually mean there are a thousand doors. Lawang Sewu is on the east side of the Tugu Muda roundabout at the corner of Pandanaran Street and Pemuda Street in central Semarang.
This building has a destinct typical Dutch style of architecture. The building consists of three floors and has two main wings: Building A and Buidling B. The building is equipped with a ballroom, basement, dining room and a theater. Inside the building you will find long hallways filled with doors and wooden windows on both sides. The distinct architecture is very suitable for photo shoots or pre wedding photos and you may find some lucky young couple here posing for their wedding pictures.
Underneath the building is the basement which is partly flooded to keep the building cool. The basement was used by the Japanese as a prison for the Dutch, some executions took place here too. When entering this area you will notice a kind of mystical atmosphere, with traces of the atrocities of the past still lingering in the air. Or is it just the dark, cold and damp atmosphere here that makes you shiver?
The very central location makes it easy to visit Sewu Lawang by local transport or taxi. If you are coming from out of town arriving at the train station, you can take any local bus heading for Tugu Muda, fee is Rp 4,000.
Monday to Sunday, 06:00 to 18:00
Admission fee is Rp 10.000 to go into Lawang Sewu and Rp 30,000 to go into the basement.