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Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city, and the capital of the province of East Java. It is located on the northern shore of eastern Java at the mouth of the Mas River and along the edge of the Madura Strait. To Indonesians, it is known as "the city of heroes", due to the importance of the Battle of Surabaya in galvanising Indonesian and international support for Indonesian independence during the Indonesian National Revolution.

The city center
The city evolved from the harbour

Just like Jakarta, Surabaya developed around the harbor, and gradually grew southwards. A visit to the city normally starts in the new commercial and governmental center around Jalan Tunjungan and Jalan Pemuda, a fast developing, smaller version of Jalan Thamrin - Sudirman - Gatot Subroto, the main archer in Jakarta.

Point of recognition for Jalan Tunjungan is Hotel Majapahit, the former 'Oranje Hotel'. At this place the flag-incident took place in September 1945, the spark in the revolutionary barrel of gunpowder of the city. With just across Hotel Sarkies, at Jalan Embong Malang, the corner forms the lost colonial history, with at the eastern side the former private club Deutsche Verein at Jalan Gentengkali, now known as Balai Sahabat.This place offers a good Chinese restaurant, also accessible for non-members. At this street is also the cultural center, Taman Budaya for expositions and shows. In the morning students practice classical dances. The complex was used for the bupati ('regent') until the seventies.

At Jalan Dolog is a statue of king Kertanagara in his incarnation of the Bhuddha Asokbhya. The from Malang originating statue was taken to Surabaya earlier. The feet carries the date 1289. Javanese still honor the statue, that is locally know as 'Joko Dolog' ('fat boy').

More to the east, at Jalan Pemuda, is Grahadi, the official residence of the governor of East Java, once the stately residence house. From the road the back of the building can just be seen; at the front if a small canal. In this quarter transport over water was very common. The statue of Soerju, the first governor of East Java, dresses up the park across Grahadi.
East of this is the Balai pemuda, built in 1907 as the Simpang Club. It was rebuilt into a luxury cinema and exhibition room of Surabaya. More north, in the middle of a traffic island is a statue of Sudirman, commander-in-chief of the Indonesian revolutionary troops. Here is also the city house, built by the Dutch, which offered a view over the Taman Surya park. The nearby ice-cream salon Zangrandi with it's colonial air it's a part of the city. More to the east at Jalan Pemuda is one of the biggest malls in Southeast Asia. Across are food stalls and the river market at Jalan Kayoon; you can buy semi precious stones, in gold and silver if you like.

Further south, at the other bank of the river is Jalan Irian Barat, at night a famous place for transvestites, the only place in entire Indonesia where the waria('men dressed up as women') are illegal. Along Jalan Keputran ( Prince Street ) many vegetable traders collected at night, further south, where Jalan Keputran changes into Jalan Dinoyo, is a Chinese temple where on special Thursdays wayang kulit shows are given.

Last revised on December 04, 2009
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