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Explore “Plengkung” At Magelang Municipality

Explore “Plengkung” At Magelang Municipality
The journey of masifan.com is back to Magelang Municipality. Small city located in Central Java seems never stop to decorate itself.

The name of the City of Magelang has been so familiar in the national and even international realm especially from the tourism side. This is due to its adjacent position or even the path of crossing Jogjakarta and Semarang, adjacent to Magelang Regency where there is a famous Borobudur Temple around the world.

This condition will indirectly affect the existence of the city of Magelang. Inevitably, the city of Magelang should improve itself to greet the impact of tourist presence from Magelang regency.

The tourism business actors in Magelang city like hotels will also try to attract tourists to come to Magelang City and stay at their hotel. This will not be realized if the City of Magelang does not want to make up theirselves side of tourism.

If viewed from the potential of tourism is indeed much different from Magelang, but this does not mean it cannot make the city of Magelang to have a superior tourist destination and worth a visit again by the tourists’ especially foreign tourists.

Discussion About Magelang Municipality

The development and dynamics of the city of Magelang as rapidly as the current Service City is inseparable from the existing geographical conditions although the extent of the city is only 18.12 km2. Geographically, the city of Magelang lies at 110o12'30 "- 110o12'52" East Longitude and 7o26'28 "- 7o30'9" South latitude and lies in a strategic position, being right in the middle of Java Island, transportation and economy between Semarang-Magelang-Yogyakarta and Purworejo, in addition to being at the intersection of local and regional tourism routes between Yogyakarta-Borobudur-Kopeng and Dieng plateau.


The strategic location of Magelang city is also supported by the determination of Magelang City as the Purwomanggung Purworejo Regional Center (Purworejo Regency, Wonosobo Regency, Temanggung Regency, Magelang City and Magelang Regency) in the National Spatial Plan and Spatial Plan of Central Java Province.

Topographically, Magelang is a plateau which is less than 380 m above sea level, with a slope of 5o - 45o, so that Magelang is a flood-free area supported by the presence of Progo River on the west side and Elo river on the east side. Climatology of Magelang city is categorized as wet climate area with high rainfall equal to +7.10 mm / year.


Administratively, Magelang City is divided into 3 sub-districts and 17 sub-districts with the following borders:

a. North 
District Secang, District Tegalrejo, Magelang Regency 

b. East 
Elo River, Tegalrejo District, Magelang Regency 

c. South side 
District Mertoyudan, Magelang Regency 

d. West Side 
Progo River, Bandongan District, Magelang Regency

Historic Tourism Plengkung Kota Magelang

If we pass in Magelang City, we will find a plengkung-shaped building as well as existing buildings in Yogyakarta as the gate to enter the palace area. But the plengkung that exist in Magelang is the function is for the water channel. The building is a Dutch building.


Since the days of Dutch rule, the city of Magelang has been projected to be a comfortable residential area. As a proponent, plengkung was built supporting facilities in the form of city drains (Boog Kotta Leiding) that was spoken by the tongue inlander pronounced casually "Buk Kuto Ledeng". If the Javanese then called "Buk" as a wall of waterways, then it is indeed a misspelling of the word boog pronounced by Dutch meneers. The canal comes from Kali Manggis, Pucangsari, Kedungsari, North Magelang Subdistrict, and downstream in Jurangombo Village, Jagoan Village, South Magelang Sub District, Magelang City.

In addition to being built to provide for household needs, the canal was also used to clean household waste obtained from residential areas. Tha canal that utilized the gravity energy, by the colonial government installed a water pipe with a length of about 6.5 kilometers from Kali Manggis and ended in Jagoan village.

The pipe was made floating and placed on a mound of land that extends to resemble a fortress located in the middle of the city. But no source that mentions the origin of the land, workers and expenses required to make the mound.

The canal that extends and splited the city or often referred to as the Fly River or Aqua Duct. For the canal that cut off the highway, the Dutch government built a building resembling a fort (known to the public as Plengkung).

The beginning of the construction of plengkung was to open access between Grooteweg Noord Pontjol (now Ahmad Yani Street) next to the east there was Militaire Kampement (now known as Rindam IV Diponegoro) with Plengkoeng Road (now Pierre Tendean Road) to Badaan (Nieuws Officer Kampement). Because if the Dutch did not make plengkung, all land transportation would get difficulty to climb the mound of land that supports the water gutters are high enough. This situation that led to the Dutch East Indies government had idea to make plengkung that serves as a fly river.

At least, there are three plengkung of Magelang, such as

1. Plengkung in Jl. Piere Tendean in 1883 
as shown in the sculpture of this ancient building. This plengkung building was made with andesite stone construction but at the time of renovation in 2008, the composition is covered with cement. 
2. Jl. Daha / Tengkon Street (1893) 
3. And on Ade Irma Suryani street (1920).

On each plengkung, the height and width is average seven meters. Plengkung is included as a cultural heritage objects whose existence needs to be preserved.

According to the Head of Kota Toea Magelang Community, Mr. Bagus Priyana, Plengkung first was built in Jl. Piere Tendean, and last on Jl. Ade Irma Suryani that known as “Plengkung Baru”. In contrast to similar buildings such as in Yogyakarta that serves as a fortress. Plengkung in Magelang City is useful for plumbing and open road access.

For Plengkung in Jl. Piere Tendean, it was built with the function of opening road access along with the construction of military complex at Badaan Park (Nievws Officer Campement) and Military Command (Militair Kompement) in Rindam IV Diponegoro.

But in the era of the war of independence, Plengkung is also used by the fighters as a bastion of struggle. They often climbed up the Plengkung and confronted the weapons with the Dutch colonial government. So when the war of the fighters rises to the Plengkung, then from the water they defend and fight.

Plengkung that located on Jl. Daha, which at the time of construction consists of one main door and two supporting doors on the right and left side. At the time of Japan's entry into Indonesia, the two door supporters were covered with soil. on 1999 the cover was removed so that it returned to its original state.

Interesting Side of Plengkung Magelang City

In addition to being a legacy of the Dutch Colonial Government and including cultural heritage objects, there is another interesting side of this historic building. This canal was built on this colonial government serves as a means of irrigation, to waste the household waste, drains for fire systems and water reserves for steam locomotives that usually stopped at Magelang Station at that time. From the many functions of the canal, now there is no one left. Probably just an ordinary canal and instead used as a giant garbage by people who are not responsible.


The starting point of this canal is around Menowo. It is made by cutting off Kali Manggis, the main irrigation canal in Magelang which was also created by the colonial government. Starting from Menowo, walk along the water canal through Magelang square far into the Karet Village area which become the end point of this canal.

Actually there is nothing interesting if just walking down the stream of time. Wasting time and tiring. But this journey is interesting when on the way to catch the moments that make amazed. One of them is why this canal by the Magelang community is not known, unlike with the Manggis River. Precisely known as this canal is the existence of Plengkung / tunnel that cuts this channel.

Imagine viaduct but with a simple shape. The building is indeed in form and function is indeed a simple form of viaduct that introduced the Romans. Indeed the function of the water canal, with the construction made curved. So by the Javanese called Plengkung, from the shape of the curved tunnel itself. Actually Plengkung is quite unique because it is not planned to be made directly at the time this channel is created.

Plengkung making process was incidental and not built in one time, but attend to the development of the city. In the end of the third construction design of Plengkung is different, and manufacture time is also different. Third Plengkung earlier is Plengkung Baru, Plengkung Lama and Plengkung Tengkon.

All three plengkung have different designs and different manufacturing times. In addition to the construction of Plengkung, there are other details that are captured that encountered 3 towers on other canal. These three towers were parts of the disaster mitigation system created by the Colonial Government. Originally made as a disaster siren and a sign of a volcanic eruption, or another catastrophe like a fire.

However, in its development, this siren also serves as a marker of curfew and also sirens of attack on the city of Magelang. These last two functions were performed during the Dai Nippon colonial era. Indeed, the location of the tower is strategic sirine, located at an altitude and his voice reaches almost all corners of the city. But now, this tower is useless as an old iron. It does not function anymore as it does its original function and is even almost a loot on metal tracers.

How does this water canal pass through residential areas in Magelang? The question is quite intriguing. Colonial Government used to make segmentation of settlements in Magelang. It could be, that this is a fine segregation made by the Colonial Government. From this waterway, we were taken through military housing areas, Arabian territories, noble territories, Chinese areas to the latter is the indigenous region. The footsteps are clear as it travels through this water channel through the villages of colonial-era settlement segmentation.

Hubungi Kami

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