Mandala Bhakti, the Museum of Indonesian Armed Forces

Mandala Bhakti Museum at night

Mandala Bhakti Museum at night. Photo from

This is one of the museums of Indonesian military. It’s located at Jalan Soegijapranata 1, Semarang, right in front of Tugu Muda monument, near Lawang Sewu. The building of Mandala Bhakti Museum was designed by a Dutch architect, I. Kuhr E, around 1930s.

Since the beginning I wanted to go to Semarang, I put this museum on my list. Because it seems interesting. Well, actually, I never went to a military museum. So, it made me curious enough to come. Beside, the location is not too far from Pandanaran Hotel. So, we can reach it by foot.

By the way, the building itself is an old architecture with European style. I always love seeing European architectures.

In Mandala Bhakti Museum, you can see the collection of documentation, military uniforms from time to time, infographics, and artillery. But did you know, formerly Bhakti Mandala Museum building was used as a Raad van Justitie or High Court for European folk in Semarang and around.

However, in the 1950s, the building was converted into the Military Command Headquarters (Kodam IV/Diponegoro). Then in 1985, it was officially “downgraded” became a mere military museum.

Some collection items that have high historical value are the old Luger pistol and a Browning machine gun. As what I read, those weapons were used in the Five-day Battle in Semarang.

Bhakti Mandala Museum consists of two floors. The foundation is made of stone with walls of plastered bricks. It has pyramid-shaped roof. There is a porch along the front side of the building, both on the first and second floor.

For your information, the museum is open from Tuesday to Thursday (08:00 to 18:00), Friday (08:00 to 10:30), Sunday (08:00 to 12:00). But on Monday, Saturday and holidays, Mandala Bhakti is closed.

After walk around for a while, we ordered the delicious tahu gimbal in Lawang Sewu area, not far from the museum. But, that’s another story 🙂

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