After his big victory in Austerlitz, Napoleon Bonaparte wanted to make a monument to honor his loyal army. He then asked the architect Jean Chalgrin to build a victory arch. After Chalgrin passed away, Jean-Nicolas Huyot finished his work.
And later in modern day, L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile has become a must-visited building in Paris. This monument stands at the Chaillot Hill right at the middle of the five-way intersection.
About 16 kilometers away from the Arc de Triomphe, I met his “twin” in Indonesia. The building is also located at the five-way intersection, which lead us to Pare, Kediri (the city), Plosoklaten, Wates (Pesantren), and Menang. It’s called Simpang Lima Gumul, in Ngasem Subdistrict, just half an hour land trip from Kampung Inggris in Pare.
Do you plan to hold a gig or event in Kediri area? Simpang Lima Gumul might be the right answer. Local government of Kediri alone used to organize some exhibitions of art, cultural, Kediri’s superior products, and other events there.
Simpang Lima Gumul Monument was built in 2003 by Sutrisno, Regent of Kediri at the moment. It consists of eight floors. There are auditorium, conventional hall, multipurpose rooms, diorama room, and mini market that sells souvenirs. The monument has three underground access roads to the main room.
At a glance, Simpang Lima Gumul looks similar to L’Arc de Triomphe. But take it closer, you’ll see the engraving on the wall depicting Indonesian countryside, farmers, agriculture, and other. On all four sides of the monument there are statues of Ganesha, the symbol of Kediri. Meanwhile, Simpang Lima Gumul is 804 square meters, 25 meters high, and propped by the three ladders. You know what, it shows exactly the anniversary of Kediri Regency: March 25th, 804.
What can we possibly do there? Comme vous voulez. You want to lie down daydreaming? Go ahead. Chit chat with new friends who are also learning English in Kampung Inggris? It’s a good idea! Don’t know what to do? You may just watch people there like I did. When I went to the place, there were traditional martial art training and dance rehearsal.
If you prefer takes some pictures and check-in to Forsquare or Facebook, you are very welcome. There is strong wi-fi signal in the area. Of course, you can also use this free Internet access for other purpose.
Gumul Paradise Island
Not far from the monument, there is a fine recreational park. A variety of entertainment and merchants are easy to find there. Love to swim? Walk a little farther to feel the fresh water in Gumul Paradise’s pool.
The water park provides you a collection of amusing vehicles like you find in WBL, such as speed slides, body slides, mushroom pool, fun boomerang, spilled tub pond, flying fox, etc. Not to mention standard amenities like toilet, food court, little mosque, lockers, giftmart, spacious parking lot, and so forth.
Brief, “Arc de Triomphe” in Paris… err, I mean Pare, is not to be missed. If you wish to travel to Paris or just miss Paris, you should visit Simpang Lima Gumul. And I suggest you to come after the sunset. So you can enjoy the nuance while seeing les étoiles (the stars) in the sky. [photos form KediriKab.go.id]
Written by Moch. Yusuf, The Course Coordinator for Kampung Inggris. You may like his other articles about Kediri:
- In Kampung Inggris, Everybody is so Serious on English
- Unique Culinary I Found in Pare
- Simpang Lima Gumul, the Real Paris of Java