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3. The luxurious Tiger Canal

Joan Nieuhoff was a traveler who journeyed to acknowledge the beauty of Batavia. He said along the way that flank the canal was planted with palm trees, alongside its wide canals covered with rocks and along the street was the beautiful houses of stone wall building.

Home decor often could not be avoided, it was typical of life in the Dutch East Indies to be a reflection of a long career inhabitants. The inhabitants have become increasingly tied to the earth Indies after married local women and bind themselves with a wedding ring. A sense of awe about the tiger canal was written as follows:

Tiger canal like sakkerdaan (Maluku fragrant wood, brown with black veins)

From Ambon that awakens

Will varnishes, beams, and walls

And besides this sakkerdaan, there was furniture of iron, satin wood and ebony work of Chinese or European carpenters. Some old furniture of preserved animals complete with gold ornaments as symbol of Amsterdam, Middelburg, Delft, Rotterdam, Hoorn and Enkhuizen, decorate the house. For example house OI Comp having chair in addition to the glass cabinet with foliage ornaments and pictures of council meeting in the castle in the corners.

Life in large mansions with a large yard in Tiger Canal was indeed expensive. Governor Dr Paul Valckener of Ternate, when he was a second doctor of Batavia with the rank of chief merchant, bought the house in Tiger Canal for 5,800 rijksd. But other than that he paid 10,000 rijksd, 4000 rijkd was spent for silver jewelry, and 2100 rijkd to marry an orphan girl aged 14 years. He stayed here with five horses, twenty-seven slaves, including two violinists.

The house of Jacobus Martinus Baljee (which later became a member of the Indies council) had a front yard, the building wings that protrude from the main building, covered entirely with marble and separated from the street by a fence beautifully carved, decorated with large statues. The furniture was horses and carriages, estimated at 23,000 rijkd and slave worth 10.000.rijkd. Once calculated, he had four tons of gold as a whole.

Along the front of the house there was a magnificent pavement of side walk, made of red brick or blue; only free people (not slaves) that might put his foot there. Tiger canal, one of the oldest canals, also one of the longest canal, and which houses were mostly in European style. Although there were dense places in the city, for example Kali Besar, it did not occur in Tiger Canal.

Tijgersgracht in Batavia Jakarta Old Town