Merdeka Square : Jakarta, Indonesia

Merdeka Square (Indonesian: Medan Merdeka or Lapangan Merdeka) is a large square located in the center of Jakarta, Indonesia. Measuring one square kilometer in area, if the surrounding fields within the Merdeka Square are included, it is considered one of the largest squares in the world. At 75 hectares, it is over five times the size of Tiananmen Square, and 12 times the size of Place de la Concorde.

At its center stands the National Monument, often called Monas (Monumen Nasional). The paved plaza surrounds the monument often host national events such as military and float parades, as well as civic demonstrations. Surrounding the Monument is now a park with a musical fountain in eastern side, and a deer enclosure where deer roam among the shady trees in the southeast corner. The square is a popular destination for Jakartans for sports and recreation especially on weekends.

It is surrounded by important government buildings such as the Merdeka Palace, the National Museum of Indonesia, the Supreme Court and various governmental ministries. During the colonial Dutch East Indies era the square was called Koningsplein (King’s square). Merdeka is the Indonesian word for freedom or independence.

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