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6. Houses Owned by Notable People

The houses along the canal tiger were owned by famous people. In fact, there had been a house owned by a General Governor or former General Governor. Mr. Willem van Outhoorn for example, lived here sixteen years until his death. He lived in Tijgersgracht after his daughter was married to the general director Joan van Hoorn. He was very happy when his son in law became governor, since then his house was guarded by fourteen men under a lieutenant. Here also lived Dirk van Cloon and Reinier de Klerk. Both also had a house in Molenvliet (their official domicile was in the castle), likewise the ever stayed in Tjgersgracht was Jeremias van Riemsdijk who had a garden at the road to Antjol. All this notable people had beautiful houses in Tijgersgracht.

From his letter Joanna Maria van Riebeek wrote to Isebrandus Haarlem, showed a luxury house at the tiger canal which was the main canal of Batavia. After a description of the two places outside the city, and plantations in Buitenzorg, Pondok Gedeh and Tjiseroa, who all belonged to him, we read in the letter:

"Now about my life at the house on Tiger Canal, I lived at the best canal of all canals. On the right side of the canal was planted with very lush walnut tree, and behind the house was stood linden trees”.

This was a story about Jeremias van Riemsdijk’s house on Canal Tigers. The house was very spacious, the side rooms close to the street was very large could be used for forty people. Its architecture was built with British door and window frame, the floor was covered with Swarte and white marble, with spacious hallway next to the room, a living room with two doors, blue stone floors that were already hundreds of years.

In addition, the basement with five steps up, approximately 30 feet wide and 40 feet long. The stairs to the upper floor was very comfortable, where one large room located on the front and an extra room. The back room was also great as the basement and next to it there was still a room again. At the back side of the house there were two rooms with a canopy along the area of the house, thirty feet wide, covered with a partition board from the top. On top there was a large room with a door. The basement was also large and as wide as the room above, the floor was made of stone.

Out of the rear house, people found a canopy that was as large as at the top. The canopy was placed on top of wooden fence-like church, under it was a very large room. In the center was a spacious and comfortable kitchen as well as several other buildings, not to mention the kitchen and several rooms for slaves, all were upstairs. Behind it there were two carriage houses and stables, where there were twenty horses towing carriage, brown and black cabinets, including three ranges of four horses, and three carriages with glass, which was imported from the Netherlands. The horse coach was from England. Usually in the back of the house there were three carriages with four Europeans coachman.

In addition there were two European nanny and a European cook, with two hundred slaves of men and women and their children. There were six horses for park that remain there forever; and three chaises, some wagons and agriculture carts, hunting equipment and rowboats for picnic from one place to another, and the last was big cattle, or turkey, poultry, ducks and pigeons, where the sparrows come into the house. The last one was like in Holland, they joined the crowd.

Two hundred slaves was a huge amount for a family. But Van Riemsdijk had been married five times, he had no less than fourteen children in the house, that's why he needed that huge space.

A View from the Castle to Tiger Canal
A View from the Castle to Tiger Canal