Meet Willem III, The Lighthouse Of Anyer

REMEMBER Sadako, the creepy girl with her signature long silky hair? Remember where she lived?

Ever since I watched Sadako in the movie Ringu where the setting took place in Izu Ōshima (a small island with its lighthouse as a landmark), my impression on every lighthouse in the world has changed.  It has become more than just a beacon of light. It was an echo chamber, echoing the time lapse and history within.

And sometimes there were only darkness and despair.

I still felt the spine tingling experience as we entered the Anyer lighthouse, located not far from the main road of Anyer-Carita, Banten. This tower stood tall & slender (around 75.5 meters height with 18 floors and 300 stairs) over a small park at its base.  No, I didn’t talk about Sadako (in fact, just forget about her!), but the feeling that this building was a historical place somehow made me thrilled.

The lighthouse was erected in 1885 by the Dutch government (at the behest of William III, King of the Netherlands, and that’s why some simply called it Willem III’s lighthouse).   Massive metal plates had been bolted together to form a large cylindrical tower. And after more than 120 years later, the lighthouse has started to look a bit worn out.

This sentinel was built up replacing the previous one that was wiped out by the tsunami that struck following Krakatoa’s explosion in 1883. And Anyer’s lighthouse has made the second oldest in Indonesia after Semarang’s lighthouse that was built in 1884.

Anyer lighthouse
A plaque above the entrance door welcomed us. Inscribed in Dutch (and none of us spoke any), all I was able to say was: “Speak, friend, and enter.” Simply following what Gandalf had done when trying to enter the west gate of Moria.
the hole up
There is an entrance in the middle of the ground floor. This cylindrical room is used by the attendants to do the maintenance stuff. You could also sneak in and look up all the way to the top of the tower.
Ready to climb up some 300 stairs? Let's go!
Ready to climb up some 300 stairs? Let’s go! There are 17 flights of stairs to be climbed. Each floor has a window for views out.
All was rusty.
All the floor looked severely rusted, and patches on the walls show the spread of rust. We climbed in silence leaving our footsteps echoed faintly in the interior.
broken window
Breathless from the climb up, we stopped by one window that had already missed its right windowpane, and took some fresh air before continuing the climb.

We were inside the lighthouse. The air was filled with the smell of rusty metal. The floor and the walls showed the spread of rust. It took some effort to climb up some 300 stairs, but once we arrived at the top it would be paid off. We definitely could see a circular view: the green fields, the red roofs, the bending coastal road, the vastness of the sea.

The only thing bothering was how people had left their trash everywhere in this high ground. Most of them were empty bottles, including one empty bottle of 1 litre Coke. People surely need some drink after climbing up here, but they also need some environmental awareness.  “All these people need is some brain!” said my friend.  Since there were only us left, so we decided to pick up the trash, and load it into a plastic bag (that had been left forgotten on the floor).

unimaginable views
The climb ended here at the external gallery that sat just below the lighthouse’s large rotating lamp. With its 360-degree view visitors could see the inland, the coastline, and the distant islands as well.
Yes, this was totally unimaginable too! Trash were everywhere at the external gallery. We picked up all the empty bottles and the result was one full plastic bag of trash.
This one was totally unimaginable! Trash were everywhere at the high ground. We picked up all the empty bottles and the result was one full plastic bag of trash.
trash bin
Is this not clearly stated that you should drop your trash here? Bin it, people!
the sentinel
Shimmering by the sunlight, the Anyer lighthouse is more than just the beacon of light. It is the sentinel of the coast and the history as well. See you again, tall boy!

There was a small park adjacent to the lighthouse (entrance fee around Rp. 20,000/car). We walked down the path about 30 meters from the tower. There was a small statue marking the zero km starting point of Anyer-Panarukan road that was built by Daendels. This was also the location where the original lighthouse erected long before the Krakatoa’s 1883 tsunami struck.

Willem III a.k.a the Anyer lighthouse was shimmering under afternoon light, standing tall like a cost guard. It seemed clear to me that this lighthouse was a sentinel for both the coastal and the history around. I realized that the dark and despairing site of a lighthouse was just my exaggerated thought. Lighthouses could be just as atmospheric on their own.


Disgiovery yours! 

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18 Responses
  1. Halim

    Ahhh mirippp banget sama yang Madura punya 🙂
    Sama-sama memakai nama Willem raja Belanda waktu itu juga hehehe…
    Nice pics and good job ( picked up the empty bottled ). Lanjutkan bro 😀

    1. Iya bener, bentuk nya mirip mercusuar sembilangan di madura. Tapi hampir semua mercusura yg saya kunjungin pasti bentuk nya mirip dan william ada dimana-mana termasuk di pulau biawak dan lengkuas belitung 😉

  2. Kalau semua pengunjung punya kesadaran untuk bersih-bersih tempat kunjungan mereka, pastinya tempat kunjungan bakal lebih bersih dong yaaaa… Semoga selalu bisa menjaga tempat-tempat yang kita kunjungi yak Bang! Hehehe.

    Btw, ternyata Bang Badai ni temennya mang Koboi toh? 😮

  3. Probably I would say “mellon”. 🙂 It is so sad how ignorant people are, and what usually happen is when there’s flooding or other disasters sweeping an area, people would always point their fingers at the government only. It is truly a collective responsibility. Anyway, I have never heard of this place before and it looks like another interesting place to visit just a few hours from Jakarta.

      1. Will do, soon hopefully. 🙂 Btw I haven’t got the chance to visit that museum in Kemang. Will let you know when I do.

  4. Wahhh kerennnn bangunananya..banguanan yang keren ditunjang oleh pemoto yang keren jadi dua keren…wah ternyata masih ada jejak deandels ya…mirip dengan bukit Tinggi dengan Jam Gadangnya

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