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Title: Pematangsiantar  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: HKBP Nommensen University, Medan Hokkien, Simalungun people, North Sumatra, North Nias Regency
Collection: Cities in Indonesia, Populated Places in North Sumatra, Regency Capitals of Indonesia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Kota Pematangsiantar
Pematangsiantar City
Pematangsiantar City
Official seal of }
Motto: Sapangambei Manoktok Hitei
Location of Pematangsiantar in Indonesia
Location of Pematangsiantar in Indonesia
Pematangsiantar is located in Indonesia
Location of Pematangsiantar in Indonesia
Country Indonesia
Province North Sumatra
 • Mayor Hulman Sitorus, SE
 • Total 79.97 km2 (30.88 sq mi)
Population (2004)
 • Total 227,51
Time zone WIB (UTC+7)
Website .id.go.pematangsiantarkotawww

Pematangsiantar (sometimes written as Pematang Siantar, acronym PT. Siantar or P. Siantar, colloquially just Siantar but the official name has no space)[1] is an independent city in North Sumatra, Indonesia, surrounded by, but not part of, the Simalungun Regency. Pematangsiantar formerly had the status of a second level district (daerah tingkat dua) and has been elevated to Kota - its population was 219,319 in 1990 Census, 242,756 in 2000 Census, and 229,525 in the 2005 Intercensal count.[2] making it the second largest city in the province after the provincial capital Medan.


  • Administrative divisions 1
  • History 2
  • Inhabitants 3
  • Transport and travel 4
  • Cuisine 5
  • References 6

Administrative divisions

The city is divided administratively into eight districts (kecamatan), tabulated below with their 2010 Census population:[3]

Name Population
Census 2010[3]
Siantar Marihat 17,872
Siantar Marimbun 14,642
Siantar Selatan
(South Siantar)
Siantar Barat
(West Siantar)
Siantar Utara
(North Siantar)
Siantar Timur
(East Siantar)
Siantar Martoba 38,368
Siantar Sitalasari 26,854


Street scenery at Pematangsiantar in 1910s
Dutch house in Pematangsiantar (1923)
Aerial view of Siantar in 1938

Before 1907, Pematangsiantar was a Kingdom led by the Damanik'. Damanik is one of the clans of the Simalungun ethnic group of the Batak people. The last king of the dynasty was Tuan Sangnawaluh Damanik. In 1907, the Dutch took control, turning Pematangsiantar into their colony. The city remained under Dutch control until 1942 when the Japanese invaded and ruled over Indonesia.

After Indonesia proclaimed its freedom in 1945, Pematangsiantar was granted the autonomous status. In 1974, Pematangsiantar became a second level district, and was appointed as the capital of Simalungun Regency.[4]


Pematangsiantar's native inhabitants are the Simalungun Batak people. Nowadays, Chinese and ethnic Malays (including Javanese) also inhabit some parts of the city, especially around the downtown area. The most developed part of the town is along the streets named Jalan Merdeka and Jalan Sutomo.

Transport and travel

Pematangsiantar is an hour away or 50 kilometres from Lake Toba on the Trans-Sumatran Highway. Lake Toba is one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world, and a major tourism destination. It is common to see some tourists stopping over in Pt. Siantar. Siantar is famous for Batak culture, 'Batik' and 'Ulos' fabric, and Batak foods. There is a zoo worth visiting that is aptly named Taman Hewan Pematangsiantar - animal garden of Pematangsiantar (usually a zoo is Kebun Binatang in Indonesian). It has a good collection of Indonesian native animals, most notably birds, tigers and apes. The zoo itself boasts abundant tropical trees and plants, some of which are quite old. The location is surprisingly close to the main roads of the city (within walking distance). Ticket price (April 2009) is 7,000 IDR. Another place of interest in the city is Vihara Avalokitesvara - a Buddhist Temple, which houses the Statue of Kwan Im. At 22.8 meter high, is the tallest statue of its kind in Indonesia. The temple complex is accessible from Jl. Pane. It is part of the new temple complex. Connected by a bridge, adjacent to the new complex across the river of Bah Bolon, the old building of the temple was burned completely in an inferno in May, 2008.

Pematangsiantar can also be reached from Medan by train. Other than that, there are large buses which reach Siantar from Medan. Or by road for 3 hours. The distance from Medan to Pematangsiantar is 130 kilometres.


Most of Pematangsiantar's food styles are inherited from Batak and Chinese traditional food. Foods such as saksang (pork cooked in its own blood) and roasted pork, or drinks like tuak (an alcoholic beverage made from sugar palm and sometimes from coconut) from the Batak people are very popular.

Chinese food restaurants can also be found across the city. One of the very popular local delicacies inherited from Chinese food is "Mie Pangsit" (Wonton Noodle).

Some food from West Sumatera is also quite popular, especially nasi padang (various dishes with rice), and sate padang (spicy satay, usually eaten with rice-cake).


  1. ^
  2. ^ Municipalities
  3. ^ a b Biro Pusat Statistik, Jakarta, 2011.
  4. ^

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