Although Chinese travelers – mainly merchants – already reached the shores of ‘Nan Yang’, the ‘Southern Ocean Lands’, about two thousand years ago, the first well documented and known relationships with the nowadays Indonesian islands began with the first travel of Admiral Cheng Ho (He), who visited Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra and other islands of the present Indonesian Archipelago six times in the early fifteenth century. From these days the old traces of Chinese temples originate, and from these times the very typical architecture also originates: Indonesians learned from Chinese immigrants in which the Chinese builders themselves applied in their temple buildings in Indonesia.

The book describes the Chinese travel and migration into the Archipelago, the presence of Chinese people during the various phases of the old kingdoms, especially in Java, as well as the Chinese system of belief, including Confucianism and Buddhism.

The principal layout of temples is explained as well as the rules of architecture (style, structure, ornaments, holy chambers and altars).

The main part of the book presents  41 temples in total in Java and Sumatra, with the oldest ones from the 17th century. Hundreds of professional photographs and extensive explanations describe them, their historical background and the present importance to the Chinese people in Indonesia. Most places have been renovated in recent years and they all look splendidly.  Festivals and rituals are shown in these premises as well, showing the colourful character of Chinese religious life.

The very specific historical background of Chinese religious practice during the first fifty years of the Republic of Indonesia including the usage of language and writing characters, has left its mark. Many temples seem to be hidden behind walls; however the Chinese citizens in Indonesia cherish their places of worship and therefore graciously support their maintenance and permanent beautification. They are splendid sights indeed.

ISBN: 978-979-17057-6-9
Artbook by Asti Kleinsteuber
Languages: Indonesian, English, Mandarin
Format: Hard Cover, 25 x 33 cm, 420 Pages
Price: IDR 860,200
Full color with more than 500 exclusive photos