Tanah Abang

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Tanah Abang is a subdistrict of Central Jakarta, Indonesia. The subdistrict hosts the biggest textile market in Southeast Asia, Tanah Abang Market. Tanah Abang subdistrict is also the location of Bung Karno Stadium (in Kelurahan Gelora) and the western half of the Sudirman Central Business District.

Tanah Abang is also the name of two historic roads located in Kelurahan South Petojo, Gambir Subdistrict. One of this road, Tanah Abang 1 Road, is known as the location of a former Dutch Cemetery, now a museum called Museum Taman Prasasti. The cemetery is the burial place of Olivia Mariamne Fancourt, wife of Stamford Raffles.

The Textile Museum, generally known to be located in Tanah Abang Subdistrict, is actually located in West Jakarta (Kelurahan Kota Bambu Selatan, Palmerah Subdistrict). The museum is identified with Tanah Abang Subdistrict because it is located close to the boundary of the two subdistricts.


According to Tota M. Tobing, there is a presumption that the name Tanah Abang was given by the Mataram army troop when they raided the City of Batavia in 1628. During the raid of Batavia, the city was attacked from the coastal area in the north, and from overland in the south. It is possible that the Mataram army troop named this southern area Tanah Abang because the soil (tanah) of the place was reddish (abang is red in Javanese), thus tanah abang means "red soil" in...
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