Sunday, April 24, 2011

Winkel Maatschapphij "H. Spiegel", a Remaining Old Retail Store at Semarang Old City Area

Just like other building at Semarang Old City Conservation Area, the building is situated directly on the street yard without any courtyard. The entrance is slanted at the corner side of the building, it seem placed in face to face situation against The Marba Building's entrance across the street. The entrance corner itself should be an elaborate entry corner with a balcony over the entrance door.

Despite the building conditions are looking aged, there are some old details are remaining visible on its facade. There is a combination of decorative pattern in round shapes and horizontal lines on the facade walls. At the upper floor level, windows that are situated in the middle of the building are surrounded with circular decorative brick works. Another round smaller patterns are found on the balcony balustrade over the main entry. It seem these circular patterns are provided to make contrast against the strong geometrical shape belong to the overall building shape.

As noted in the history based on Semarang Government's Official Website, this building is built on 1895 and originally owned by a Colonial Dutch Company: Winkel Maatschapphij "H. Spiegel". The building is originally is a retail store that related with office supplies such as typewriter machine, furniture and many others.
Nowadays, the building is poorly remaining as a warehouse. There is an old small wind direction arrow on the roof top above the balcony that maybe is still on duty after hundred years pointing certain directions wherever wind blows around the old ground of Semarang City.


  1. I do believe that this building housed my great-grandfather's business. Herman Spiegel lived in Java from approx. 1900-1910 and had three children there with his wife Sophie, before the family returned to Vienna, Austria. Herman Spiegel died in 1911 shortly after returning to Austria. I am thrilled to see these photos. may I have your permission to use them in my family genealogy (crediting you of course) If you have any additional information I would certainly appreciate it.
    Deborah Holman
    Hamden, CT USA

    1. Hi Deb, Curiously I have 2 incredibly interesting brass and glass lanterns (for kerosene?) which are art nouveau in style and are clearly marked with H. Spiegel Semarang. I acquired them in New Zealand and I am now in Australia. I was just polishing one when I noticed the label and decided to do some research. Let me know if you would like more information.

    2. Please respond to this post since I forgot to tick the “notify me” post on previous post

  2. Hi Deb, it is my pleasure, you can use my photo for your family purposes :) It's great for me to see my blog post is useful for somebody........

  3. That building still exist and became cafe.


  5. Hi there,

    I am doing my thesis about colonial architecture in Indonesia and I was wondering if I was allowed to use these photographs. Obviously with acknowledging where I got them from.

    Hope to hear from you soon :)