Lawang Sewu, Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia


Lawang Sewu (meaning “Thousand Doors”) is an unmissable landmark in Semarang, Central Java, Indonesia… Unmissable, because it is located smack at the side of the road on the  busy Tugu Muda roundabout intersection..


It was built as the headquarters of the Dutch East Indies Railway Company and comprises of two huge colonial buildings…


I was both terrified and excited at the chance of visiting Lawang Sewu when I read in my itinerary that we were heading there…, my mixed feeling stemmed from the popular knowledge that this infamous building was once one of the most famous haunted places not just in Indonesia but also in the world, and said to be the home of at least several ghosts (I mean Google up Lawang Sewu and you will find the word haunted next to it… but then again, can you tell me where in the world is not haunted… We live in a world, where humans are born and also dying everyday and there are bound to be restless spirits everywhere..)


Stepping foot through the ticketing counter however, I practically fell in love with the charming building… Lawang Sewu has been restored and also renovated in some areas and it was actually hardly scary…

Our group was assigned a tour guide, Mas Fajar who took us all around the building and doubled up as our photographer as well…

Lawang Sewu does not really comes with a thousand doors… According to the Semarang government, there are only 342 doors…


Mas Fajar brought us around the ground floor of the main building and then up to the 1st floor…


The balcony and even the attic area which is actually is a ballroom was also pretty fascinating…


We even wandered to where the water tanks were stored and viewed one of the steel support which had been bombed during World War 2… I saw pigeons and bats… Yup.. There were many bats near the roof area…


The building does consists of many rooms… Mas Fajar would not bring us underground to the basement saying it is flooded down there…


The entire building has been freshly painted and sparsely used with only the occasional exhibit (mostly about the railway system) on display…


I was truly fascinated by the empty corridors, and also really in awe at the gorgeous stained glass and a magnificent marble staircase and dome ceiling… And there are really so many picturesque spots here at Lawang Sewu for sure.. We could not stop taking photos, and nothing spooky or weird happened…


Mas Fajar then brought us to the corner of the building and from there bade us a warm farewell…. Before leaving, I could not resist asking him, ” Is it spooky at night?”


Which he replied, “Hardly, there is nothing to be afraid of here” and Lawang Sewu is actually prettily litted up at night until 9pm or so… And that was obvious from the smoking area of my hotel, Rooms Inc Semarang…

So perhaps the restless spirits there has been laid to rest for real… Or perhaps they haunt the basement area only… But from my own personal experience, I was hardly spooked at all but instead, enjoyed my little visit there which I really won’t mind repeating again if given a chance…


Address – Jl. Pemuda, Sekayu, Kec. Semarang Tengah, Kota Semarang, Jawa Tengah 50132

This trip to Dieng and Semarang was made possible via an invite from the Central Java Tourism and also the Kedutaan Besar Republic of Indonesia

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