The National Monument sits in the center of Jakarta’s Merdeka Square and was built to commemorate Indonesia's struggle for independence. The tower’s construction began in 1961 under President Soekarno, and the monument – also known as Monas – was finally opened to the public in July 1971.
The tower stands at more than 130 meters tall and is topped with a burning flame, symbolizing that the spirit of the Indonesian people will never be extinguished. The flame is made from bronze metal and coated with gold foil, while the main structure symbolizes a rice pestle and mortar, thereby representing Indonesia’s agricultural history. These objects are also said to symbolize fertility by representing the male and the female.
A lift on the southern side of the monument takes visitors up to the viewing platform at 115 meters above ground level. The National Monument is surrounded by a well-kept park, often used for sports and recreational activities.
The National Monument is situated in the center of Merdeka Square. The entrance is to the northern side of the structure, down some steps and through a tunnel. There is a popular fountain display at the park every Saturday and Sunday evening from 7pm.