Lawang Sewu in Indonesian means Thousand Doors. That’s because the building has many doors and large windows patterned ancient. The building was designed by Dutch architect from the firm Citroen C JF Klinkhamer and BJ Quendag 1903 and was completed in 1907. The building was originally for office Spoorweg Nederlands-Indische Maatschappij or NIS, the Dutch railway company.
The front of this historic building decorated with gothic model of the twin towers and is divided into two areas, extending rearward impressive robust, big and beautiful. Lawang Sewu architecture is characterized by an exclusive art deco style that developed in the era of 1850-1940 in Europe. Building facing the Wilhelmina Park is now Tugu Muda. In front of Lawang Sewu first tram rails crossing the city of Semarang, but now there is no rail track and had turned into a crowded highway passing motor vehicles, bicycles and tricycles.
In 1942 when the Japanese took over the Dutch in Indonesia, the building was also occupied by Japan. One building space located in the basement of this building was previously a converted water drains into the dungeon at once sewers. The house is also a silent witness to a fierce battle between the people of Indonesia by the Japanese army known as the Battle of Five Days in Hyderabad (October 14 1945-19 October 1945).
To commemorate the historic event, a few years later the government build Tugu Muda inscription in ancient buildings and magnificent two-story after independence used as Indonesia Railway Bureau office (DKARI) or now PT Kereta Api Indonesia. Moreover once used as the Office of National Infrastructures Regional Military Command (Kodam IV / Diponegoro) and the Regional Office (Regional Office) Department of Transportation Central Java.
Given Lawang Sewu has important historical value, then the Government of Semarang with SK Wali Kota 650/50/1992, input Lawang Sewu as one of the 102 ancient or historic buildings in the city of Semarang that should be protected. It is said that according to the story basement contained in one of the building Lawang Sewu, during the Japanese occupation other than as a dumping ground water has also become a place of torture of Indonesian citizens who were caught by the invaders.
“They were held captive in a room stuffy, runny and not fed so many were killed there,” said a tour guide Lawang Sewu Masuhartono.
He who has been a tour guide in Lawang Sewu for four years, said Lawang Sewu many visitors who want to visit the crypt, as long as it does have a strong guts. He said, from experience take tourists visit the historic buildings, the location where the torture is the most favorite and visited by tourists asking questions to get more information.
“Visitors are usually not very interested when listening railroad history as the picture display. But if I tell you about a place of torture and many mystical things in the dungeon, they were very excited to hear it,” he explained.
For visitors who have a sixth sense or the ability to have supernatural abilities room was indeed very scary, could even hear the cries although there was no more torture. “Ever time I drove the guest turns out he has a supernatural ability. Then the guests cry and can not stand long standing in front of the stuffy hallway as claimed can see torture at the time,” he said.
Not only there, for those who have supernatural abilities reputedly often see people Netherlands blond and wearing European-style wandering in Lawang Sewu building, especially in the afternoon until evening.
Deandra, a visitor who has a sixth sense confess how many times seeing visions Dutch lady and a small child standing in front of a number of pntu and windows. “There was a couple of small children Caucasians who were playing,” he said, pointing to a long hallway in one building Lawang Sewu.
He had come to justify the Deandra sixth sense ability and says that things unseen are still often found in this old building. “Even some people like to see there are small children in the Netherlands were playing old black locomotive that had been installed near the entrance Lawang Sewu,” said Masuhartono.
There is another interesting events such as spoken Masuhartono. At that time there after dusk visitors come to Lawang Sewu, and after a long time driving around the building, wants to go home. But strangely one of his legs can not move like there are grasping and the guest was scared. After recited prayers, may believe it or not, and only then was able to walk normally again and leave Lawang Sewu to face fear.
“Believe it or not, there are many strange events here. Most importantly we must not be arrogant and bravado as well as our intention to come here just want to learn the history of it,” he said.
To honor the dead in Lawang Sewu at the time, the building management a frangipani tree planting in the central courtyard Lawang Sewu. Regardless of the truth of these mythical stories, the community during a visit to the city of Semarang are advised to come to the old building just to see the train journey in Java development.
People who are interested in visiting Lawang Sewu could come at load time, ie 07.00-21.00WIB every day. Adult ticket prices for 10,000 per person, children (3-12 years) Rp5,000 per person and students Rp5,000 per person. If you want to use the services of a tour guide can rent Rp30,000 per person.