Sketching Johor Bahru #2

February 3, 2014

Isnin; ribut petir, 32C, 100% kelembapan. 

Istana Taman (atau Johor Bahru Palace Gardens), menghadap ke Selat Johor, mengandungi beberapa bangunan bersejarah yang penting – Muzium Diraja (Muzium Diraja Sultan Abu Bakar), yang sebelum ini Istana Besar (1866) dan bersebelahan Dewan/Balai, dan juga Johor Zoo, Taman Botani Johor dan Masjid Abu Bakar. Bangunan-bangunan istana tarikh dari masa apabila Maharaja Abu Bakar (Temenggong sehingga 1868) menjadi Sultan Johor pada tahun 1885 dan berpindah ke Johor Bahru. Dewan penonton bekas Maharaja (kini Sultan masjid Johor Masjid Jamek) masih kekal di Telok Blangah, Singapura. Terdapat dua bangunan-bangunan penting lain selain: Istana Zahara, lama dirobohkan, dan Balai Zaharah ditinggalkan atau dewan penonton. Istana Zahara dibina sebagai tempat kediaman untuk keluarga besar Sultan Ibrahim, termasuk adik perempuannya, Ungku Zaharah, dari siapa bangunan ini dinamakan. Apabila ia selesai, seluruh keluarga diraja berpindah dari Telok Blangah di Singapura dalam perjalanan yang perlahan oleh laut yang mengambil masa beberapa hari. Utama Dato ‘Mohd Said bin Haji Sulaiman, setiausaha selama empat puluh tahun kepada Sultan Ibrahim, menulis dalam Hikayat Johor :

Pada 27 Mac 1889, Duli Yang Maha Mulia dipindahkan keluarganya yang telah menetap di Telok Blangah ke Johor Bahru. Duli Yang Maha Mulia telah menyediakan sebuah istana indah untuk mereka di atas bukit berhampiran Istana Besar. Istana itu dinamakan Istana Zaharah selepas adik perempuannya Ungku Zaharah yang adalah antara orang-orang yang tinggal telah dipindahkan.

Balai Zaharah atau Penonton Dewan dianggap telah dibina pada tahun 1858, dan diberi nama Balai Cengkih bukan sahaja kerana ia dihiasi dengan reka bentuk hiasan tumbuhan bunga cengkih (cengkih) tetapi juga kerana struktur bangunan itu sendiri, dengan yang empat unjuran, telah berbentuk seperti batang bunga cengkih, untuk menampung empat kumpulan utama kenamaan asing: orang Melayu , Inggeris, Cina dan India. Dewan telah digunakan khusus untuk upacara diraja seperti perasmian sultan dan perkahwinan diraja. Tahap bumi telah digunakan sebagai muzium untuk kereta antik Sultan Abu Bakar dan Sultan Ibrahim. Setelah tamat Istana Besar (Sultan Abu Bakar Istana Besar), kediaman diraja dipindahkan ke istana baru dan bangunan ini telah dibiarkan kosong. Ia mungkin telah digunakan untuk acara-acara dan upacara diraja sehingga tahun 1913, sebagai contoh, pengisytiharan Sultan Ibrahim pada 7 September 1895 sebagai Sultan Johor. Dari seawal 1863 atau kemudian dari tahun 1913, ia telah digunakan sebagai sekolah Inggeris dan dari tahun 1970-an sehingga akhir 1980-an bangunan ini telah digunakan sebagai Sekolah Agama Bukit Zaharah (Sekolah Agama Bukit Zahara). Walau bagaimanapun, apabila sekolah agama telah berpindah ke bangunan baru di Jalan Yahya Awal, bangunan ini dibiarkan terbengkalai . Ciri-ciri seni bina Barat boleh dilihat dalam penggunaan ruangan ionik klasik, kerja plaster hiasan pada bahagian luar dan dalam dinding, kaca hiasan di atas tingkap dan pintu bentuk kunci. Sama seperti ciri-ciri seni bina Barat yang lain, tingkap bangunan ini adalah bentuk segmen. Reka bentuk cengkih boleh dilihat dalam hiasan dinding, ibu lajur dan besi kerja di pintu gerbang di pintu masuk utama.

johor bahru 4

Monday, thunderstorms, 32 degrees, 100% humidity. The Istana (or Palace) Gardens of Johor Bahru, overlooking the Straits of Johor, contain several important historical buildings – the Royal Museum (Muzium Diraja Sultan Abu Bakar), formerly the Istana Besar (1866) and its adjacent Dewan/Balai, as well the Johor Zoo, Johor Botanical Gardens and Abu Bakar Mosque. The palace buildings date from the time when Maharaja Abu Bakar (Temenggong until 1868) became the Sultan of Johor in 1885 and moved to Johor Bahru. The former Maharaja’s audience hall (currently the Sultan of Johor’s mosque Masjid Jamek) still remains in Telok Blangah, Singapore. There are two other important buildings besides: the Istana Zahara, long since demolished, and an abandoned Balai Zaharah or audience hall. The Istana Zahara was built as a residence for Sultan Ibrahim’s extended family, which included his younger sister, Ungku Zaharah, after whom the building was named. When it was completed, the rest of the royal family moved from Telok Blangah in Singapore in a slow journey by sea that took several days. Major Dato’ Mohd Said bin Haji Sulaiman, secretary for forty years to Sultan Ibrahim, wrote in the Hikayat Johor:

On 27th March 1889, His Highness relocated his family that had been residing in Telok Blangah to Johor Bahru. His Highness had prepared a magnificent palace for them on top of a hill near Istana Besar. The palace was named Istana Zaharah after his younger sister Ungku Zaharah who was among those whose residence was being moved.

The Balai Zaharah or Audience Hall is thought to have been built in 1858, and given the name Balai Cengkih not only because it was decorated with ornamental designs of the clove plant (cengkih) but also because the structure of the building itself, with its four projections, was shaped like the stem of the clove, to accommodate four main groups of foreign dignitaries: the Malays, English, Chinese and Indians. The Hall was used specifically for royal ceremonies such as the inauguration of the sultan and royal weddings. The ground level was used as a museum for the antique cars of Sultan Abu Bakar and Sultan Ibrahim . Upon the completion of Istana Besar (Sultan Abu Bakar Grand Palace), the royal residence was moved to the new palace and this building was left vacant. It may have been in use for royal events and ceremonies until 1913, for example, the proclamation of Sultan Ibrahim on 7 September 1895 as Sultan of Johor.

From as early as 1863 or later from 1913, it was used as an English school and from the 1970s until the end of 1980s this building was used as the Bukit Zaharah Religious School (Sekolah Agama Bukit Zahara). However, when the religious school was moved to a new building in Jalan Yahya Awal, the building was left abandoned. The Western architectural features can be seen in the use of classical ionic columns, decorative plaster work on the exterior and interior walls, decorative glass above the windows and doors of keystone shape. Similar to other western architectural features, the windows of this building are of segmental shape. The clove design can be seen in the wall decorations, column capitals and iron work in the gate at the main entrance.

The Istana or Palace Gardens of Johor Bahru, overlooking the Straits of Johor, contain several important historical buildings – the Royal Museum (Muzium Diraja Sultan Abu Bakar), formerly the Istana Besar (1866) and its adjacent Dewan/Balai, as well the Johor Zoo, Johor Botanical Gardens and Abu Bakar Mosque. The palace buildings date from the time when Maharaja Abu Bakar (Temenggong until 1868) became the Sultan of Johor in 1885 and moved to Johor Bahru. The former Maharaja’s audience hall (currently the Sultan of Johor’s mosque Masjid Jamek) still remains in Telok Blangah, Singapore.

There are two other important buildings besides: the Istana Zahara, long since demolished, and an abandoned Balai Zaharah or audience hall. The Istana Zahara was built as a residence for Sultan Ibrahim’s extended family, which included his younger sister, Ungku Zaharah, after whom the building was named. When it was completed, the rest of the royal family moved from Telok Blangah in Singapore in a slow journey by sea that took several days. Major Dato’ Mohd Said bin Haji Sulaiman, secretary for forty years to Sultan Ibrahim, wrote in the Hikayat Johor:

On 27th March 1889, His Highness relocated his family that had been residing in Telok Blangah to Johor Bahru. His Highness had prepared a magnificent palace for them on top of a hill near Istana Besar. The palace was named Istana Zaharah after his younger sister Ungku Zaharah who was among those whose residence was being moved.

The Balai Zaharah or Audience Hall is thought to have been built in 1858, and given the name Balai Cengkih not only because it was decorated with ornamental designs of the clove plant (cengkih) but also because the structure of the building itself, with its four projections, was shaped like the stem of the clove, to accommodate four main groups of foreign dignitaries: the Malays, English, Chinese and Indians. The Hall was used specifically for royal ceremonies such as the inauguration of the sultan and royal weddings. The ground level was used as a museum for the antique cars of Sultan Abu Bakar and Sultan Ibrahim . Upon the completion of Istana Besar (Sultan Abu Bakar Grand Palace), the royal residence was moved to the new palace and this building was left vacant. It may have been in use for royal events and ceremonies until 1913, for example, the proclamation of Sultan Ibrahim on 7 September 1895 as Sultan of Johor. From as early as 1863 or later from 1913, it was used as an English school and from the 1970s until the end of 1980s this building was used as the Bukit Zaharah Religious School (Sekolah Agama Bukit Zahara). However, when the religious school was moved to a new building in Jalan Yahya Awal, the building was left abandoned.

The Western architectural features can be seen in the use of classical columns with Tuscan capitals, decorative plaster work on the exterior and interior walls, decorative glass above the windows and doors of keystone shape. While the columns hint at a classical style, there is a distinct lack of any pediments. The wide gentle-curving arches are a strong feature, complete with starkly simple keystones. The fanlights with their segmented design are more elaborate than in Istana Besar where they take on a Regency simplicity. The clove design can be seen in the wall decorations, column capitals and iron work in the gate at the main entrance, and perhaps in the lozenge-shape decoration of the balustrades.

 

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