About 15,000 kilometers away from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, I had the opportunity to encounter its Indonesian “twin.” This remarkable structure stands proudly at a five-way intersection, serving as a gateway to Pare, Kediri City, Plosoklaten, Wates (Pesantren), and Menang. They refer to it as Simpang Lima Gumul, located in Ngasem Subdistrict, just a half-hour land trip from Kampung Inggris in Pare.
If you are considering organizing a gig or event in the Kediri area, look no further than Simpang Lima Gumul. The local government of Kediri has previously hosted a multitude of exhibitions showcasing art, culture, Kediri’s exceptional products, and various other engaging events within its premises.
L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile
Following his momentous triumph at Austerlitz, Napoleon Bonaparte envisioned a grand monument to pay homage to his faithful army. He entrusted the task of constructing a victory arch to the esteemed architect Jean Chalgrin.
Regrettably, Chalgrin’s life was cut short before he could complete his masterpiece, and it was Jean-Nicolas Huyot who took up the mantle and brought the project to fruition.
In the present day, the iconic L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile has evolved into a must-see attraction in Paris. Majestically positioned atop Chaillot Hill, it proudly presides over the bustling five-way intersection.
Little could Napoleon Bonaparte, Jean Chalgrin, or Jean-Nicolas Huyot have foreseen the existence of a “twin” to their illustrious creation: Simpang Lima Gumul.
History of Simpang Lima Gumul
Sutrisno, the Regent of Kediri at the time, built the Simpang Lima Gumul Monument in 2003. This impressive structure comprises eight floors and boasts a range of facilities, including an auditorium, convention hall, multipurpose rooms, diorama room, and a mini-market offering souvenirs.
Notably, the monument features three underground access roads leading to the main room.
At first glance, Simpang Lima Gumul bears a resemblance to L’Arc de Triomphe. However, upon closer inspection, one can observe intricate engravings on its walls depicting the Indonesian countryside, farmers, agriculture, and other elements unique to the region.
Adorning all four sides of the monument are statues of Ganesha, the revered symbol of Kediri. Simpang Lima Gumul spans an area of 804 square meters, stands at a height of 25 meters, and is supported by three pillars.
Interestingly, the dimensions of the monument symbolize a significant date: the anniversary of Kediri Regency, which falls on March 25th, 804.
What can one do at this monument? The possibilities are vast. Whether you desire to leisurely daydream, engage in conversations with fellow English learners at Kampung Inggris, or simply observe the surroundings, the choice is yours.
During my visit, I witnessed traditional martial art training and dance rehearsals taking place.
If capturing memories through photographs and checking in on platforms like Foursquare or Facebook is your preference, you will be delighted to find a strong Wi-Fi signal in the area. Moreover, this free Internet access can be utilized for various other purposes as well.
Simpang Lima Gumul Paradise Island
In close proximity to the monument, a delightful recreational park awaits. Here, one can easily find a range of entertainment options and merchants. If you have a penchant for swimming, venture a little further to experience the refreshing waters of Gumul Paradise’s pool.
The water park offers a splendid array of thrilling rides akin to those found at Wisata Bahari Lamongan (WBL), including speed slides, body slides, a mushroom pool, a fun boomerang, a spilled tub pond, a flying fox, and more.
Additionally, you’ll find standard amenities such as restrooms, a food court, a small mosque, lockers, a gift shop, ample parking space, and various other facilities.
In essence, the “Arc de Triomphe” of Paris, or rather, Pare, is an attraction not to be missed. Whether you long for a taste of Paris or are planning a future visit to the city, Simpang Lima Gumul should be on your itinerary.
I highly recommend visiting during sunset, as it allows you to bask in the ambiance while gazing at the stars (les étoiles) above.
- Written by Moch. Yusuf, The Course Coordinator for Kampung Inggris.