History of The Big Clock (Jam Gadang)

Jam Gadang is the designation for a clock tower located in the heart of Bukittinggi, West Sumatra province. Jam Gadang is the name given to the Minangkabau society that clock tower building, because it has a clock tower that “Gadang”, or “big clock” (Jam Gadang = big clock) “Gadang” means big in Minangkabau language.

Such a phenomenal building clock tower called the Jam Gadang at the time it was built, so that since the establishment of the jam gadang has become the center of everyone’s attention. It’s also resulted in the Jam Gadang is used as a marker or landmark of Bukittinggi and also as one of the icons of West Sumatra province.



                              Jam Gadang Tempo Doeloe



                 Jam Gadang Sekarang


Jam Gadang was built in 1926 by architect Yazid Sutan Gigi Ameh. This clock was a gift from the Queen of the Netherlands to Rook Maker, Controleur (City Secretary) Bukittinggi during the first Dutch Government. Laying the first stone at this do Rook Maker’s first son who was then 6 years old.

Basic plan (following tread stair building facing towards Upper Market) from the Jam Gadang is 13 × 4 meters, the height to 26 meters. Jam Gadang is engaged in mechanical and consists of four hours / four clock faces facing the four directions of the compass with each clock face diameter of 80 cm.

Jam Gadang has undergone several changes in the peak shape. At first this clock spire round and on it stands a statue of a rooster. When you sign in to colonize Indonesia, the Japanese occupation government to change it into pagoda-shaped peak. At the time of independence, its shape changed again to trappings of traditional Minangkabau house.

Construction of the Jam Gadang is said to have a total cost of construction of 3,000 Gulden, costs quite fantastic for the size of that time. But it paid off with the famous Clock Tower is a landmark that once a symbol or icon of Bukittinggi. Jam Gadang is also set as the zero point of Bukittinggi.

There is a uniqueness of Roman numerals on the face of the Jam Gadang. When writing Roman numerals usually include the symbol “IV” to symbolize the four roman numbers, the Jam Gadang is labeled with the number four roman under the symbol “IIII” (usually IV). Look at the picture :


*a uniqueness of Roman numerals on the face of the Jam Gadang

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: