The Birth of Bandung City
Bandung is well-known as “Paris van Java” that means Paris on Java Island. In fact, this title has been with it since Bandung city was formed in Hindi-Netherland government period.
Dutch government in Indonesia was over in December 1799 when Kabupaten Bandung had been led by Bupati R. A. Wiranatakusumah II. Then, the government was taken over by Hindi-Netherlands with its General Governor, Herman Willem Daendels (1808-1811). At the first time he arrived Bandung, he fell in love with this place. He named “Paris van Java” to this beautiful place, like Paris city but on Java Island.
At the first time, he made a big project on Java. He planned to make a big long road from Anyer to Panarukan that divide Java Island into two. This road would be called Groote Postweg (Post Road) and had 1000 Km long. The purpose of this project was to ease his work distributing nature resource to whole place on Java.
In 1800-1807, Kabupaten Bandung did a lot of changes. One of them was moving the capital city from Krapyak to Bandung which on the center of Priangan region. The reasons were Krapyak was not a strategic place to built the capital city and had been often flooded when rainy season.
Based on Sadjarah Bandung, in 1809 Bupati Wiranatakusumah II and his people moved to the north region of Bandung. The centered region would be built a city next day. On the north region, there were Kampung Cikapundung Kolot, Kampung Cikalintu and Kampung Bogor which he lived there for 2.5 years and then moved to the centered region.
At first, Bupati lived in Cikalintu (Cipaganti now) and then moved to Balubur Hilir. When Daendels opened officially Cikapundung Bridge (on Jl. Asia-Afrika now), Bupati lived there. Daendels and Bupati walked together through the bridge to a place in the east. In this place Daendels stuck his stick on the ground and said “Zorg, dat als ik terug kom hier een stad is gebouwd!” (If I came back here, a city must have been built). It means Daendels wanted the center of Bandung city was built on that place. The point Daendels stuck his stick has been Bandung zero kilometer until now.
Easing his works, Daendels asked Bupati Bandung and Bupati Parakanmuncang to move their capital city, each Kabupaten to Cikapundung and to Andawadak (Tanjungsari), nearby Post Road, with a letter dated May 25, 1810.
The moving of their capital cities, opened officially by Decision Letter (besluit) dated September 25, 1810, jurisdictionally became the birth of Bandung city. According to various literatures, city developments were worked by R. A. Wiranatakusumah II and his people. It means that R. A. Wiranatakusumah II was the founding father of Bandung City.
The development of Bandung and strategically placed on the center of Priangan, pushed Hindi-Netherland government to moved the capital of Priangan Residential from Cianjur to Bandung. Based on Besluit General Governor dated August 7, 1864 number 18, Bandung city became the capital city of Priangan Residential. And it means Bandung had two functions: as the capital city of Kabupaten Bandung and the capital city of Priangan Residential. On that time, R. A. Wiranatakusumah IV was leading (1846-1874). Then a residential building on Cicendo (official house of West Java Governor now) finished in 1867 and government hotel were built.
After train transportation from and to Bandung operated in 1884, process of city development was faster. Because of Bandung functioned as the center of train transportation “West Lin,” it pushed increasing civilization development year by year. In the end 19th centuries, thousand of Europeans came to Bandung and asked the government for a special NGO to look after their purposes. Meanwhile, the government realized their failure to do centralist government system. Then, the government decided to change the system into decentralist government system. Not only on financial section, but also gave autonomic right on government section (zelfbestuur).Kabupaten Bandung which was led by R. A. A. Martanagara (1893-1918) welcomed this good decision. And it means that Kabupaten Bandung got special budget from Hindi-Netherland Government.
Based on the Law of Decentralization (Decentralisatiewet) in 1903 and Decision Letter about Decentralization (Decentralisati Besluit) and Local City Father Ordonantial (Locale Raden Ordonantie), since 1 April 1906 Bandung had become a gemeente (city) which had autonomic government. The decision made Bandung as the center of government stronger, especially for Hindi-Netherland government. At first, gemeente was led by Priangan Residential Assistant as the city father, but in 1913 gemeente had been led by burgemeester (lordmayor).
Taken from http://iwan1772.blogspot.com/2009/08/sejarah-bandung.html with changes
Written by Sobana Hardjasaputra
From book entitled “Kota-Kota Lama di Jawa Barat”
Published by Alqaprint Jatinangor
Reporter: Pramukti Adhi Bhakti