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Pematang Siantar in Simalungun

Pematang Siantar is the capital of Simalungun, a large area with plantations, situated on the road from Lake Toba to Medan., a large plantation area. Before the second world war, many foreign companies had established plantations in this area.  For instance, the  Handels Vereeniging Amsterdam, (Amsterdam Trading Company), the German  Marihat Gemeinschaft and the American Goodyear Company had plantations around Pematang Siantar. In Pematang Siantar it is cooler than Medan, while it is  400 meters above sea-level. The city is in some places still like times gone by, like the old Siantar hotel from 1912. It is interesting to make a coffee stop in this hotel. The hotel was burned down in 1945 but rebuilt in original state.


The Dutch writer Rudy Kousbroek wrote in 1979:

“Everything is as it was: The art deco lights against the pillars on the terrace, the stained glass above the windows, the candlesticks above the billiard table, the old chairs with rattan seat in the dining room … Oh, the dining room, the place where I sat on my birthday in 1937, the panels against the wall, the arched windows, the hallway to the kitchen ….

Hotel Siantar in art deco style from 1912
Hotel Siantar in art deco style from 1912