Lighthouses of Indonesia: Central Java

Indonesia has been independent since 1945, after having been the Dutch East Indies for more than 350 years. It is a huge country, stretching along both sides of the Equator for more than 46 degrees of longitude (roughly 5100 km or 3200 miles). Comprised of some 17,000 islands (more than 6000 inhabited islands), it has hundreds of major aids to navigation. Unfortunately, we have no idea how many of these aids can be considered lighthouses. Information about them is scarce, and photos are even scarcer. Official light lists contain dozens of entries for "framework towers" and "white beacons," providing little guidance for the lighthouse fan.

The island of Java (Jawa in Indonesian) is the heart of the country and home to 62% of the population. In fact, with more than 130 million residents it is the world's most populous island.

This page includes lighthouses of Central Java (Jawa Tengah) Province and the Yogyakarta Special Region. Central Java has two coasts: a north coast facing the Java Sea and a south coast facing the Indian Ocean.

The Indonesian word for a lighthouse is mercusuar or (in two words) mercu suar. The phrase menara suar, which includes the Arabic word menara, is sometimes used instead. Tanjung and ujung are words for capes, pulau is an island, selat is a strait, karang is a reef, and teluk is a harbor.

The original Dutch names of historic lighthouses, if known, are shown in curly brackets {}.

Aids to navigation in Indonesia are operated and maintained by the Directorate General of Maritime Transportation.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. Admiralty numbers are from volumes F and K of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
Leuchttürme in Indonesien
Photos posted by Andreas Köhler.
Lighthouses in Indonesia
Wikimedia photos, including a collection of historic photos from the collection of the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.
World of Lighthouses - Indonesia
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Online List of Lights - Indonesia
Coming soon: photos by various photographers posted by Alexander Trabas.
Indonesian Lighthouses
Historic postcard views from the collection of Michel Forand.
Leuchttürme Asiens, Australiens, und Ozeaniens auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.
Semarang Light
Semarang Light, Semarang, August 2008
Wikimedia Creative Commons photo by Coris

Central Java Province North Coast (Java Sea) Lighthouses

Brebes, Tegal, and Pekalongan Regencies Lighthouses
Ujung Brebes
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); white flash every 4 s. 20 m (66 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Ujung Brebes is not a cape but a delta formed by sedimentation along the mouth of the Brebes River; continued sedimentation has pushed the point of land 1.2 km (3/4 mi) north of the lighthouse. Located 12 km (7.5 mi) north northwest of Brebes. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-348; Admiralty K1101; NGA 23502.
* Tegal East Mole
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); white flash every 3 s. 13 m (43 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. Google has a street view and a distant satellite view. Located on the quay in Tegal. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1106; NGA 23508.
* Tegal (Rede Tegal) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1880). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white light, 5 s on, 5 s off. 30 m (98 ft) square tapered skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but the tower is seen in a Google street view and satellite view. Huelse has a postcard view of the original Dutch lighthouse, and Forand has a second postcard view. Located just east of the harbor of Tegal, a port about 25 km (15 mi) west of Pemalang. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-263; Admiralty K1105; NGA 23504.
* Pekalongan (2)
Date unknown (station established 1866). Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 5 s. 14 m (46 ft) round hourglass-shaped tower. Entire lighthouse is white. A photo is available, and Google has a distant satellite view. The Tropenmuseum has a distant aerial photo of the original lighthouse. Located on the waterfront at Pekalongan, about 70 km (45 mi) west of Semarang. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-186; Admiralty K1122; NGA 23532.

Kendal Regency Lighthouse
* Tanjung Celong
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) tapered square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted white. Fahrizal Utama has a photo, Gondang Hadi has a 2016 closeup, and Google has a satellite view. Located on the east side of an estuary entrance at Gempolsewu. Site open, and several photos show visitors climbing the tower. ARLHS IDO-299; Admiralty K1128; NGA 23539.

Semarang City Lighthouses
Note: Semarang, the capital city of Central Java Province, is an important port. The population of the city proper is about 2 million, with 6 million in the metropolitan area.
Semarang West Outer Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round green fiberglass tower, flared at the top. James Arjuna's photo is at right, and Google has a satellite view. Semarang, a major port of central north Java, has long outer breakwaters protecting the port from monsoon-driven waves. Located at the end of the west breakwater, which is 3.5 km (2.2 mi) long. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty K1134; NGA 23558.
Semarang East Outer Breakwater
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round red fiberglass tower, flared at the top. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the west end of the detached east breakwater. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty K1133.3; NGA 23557.
* Semarang (Tanjung Emmas, Mercusuar Willem III) (2)
1883 (station established 1872). Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); four white flashes every 20 s. 30 m (98 ft) 12-sided cast iron tower with lantern and gallery. Entire lighthouse painted white. A photo is at the top of this page, a 2008 photo is available, Köhler has a 2011 photo, Badroe Zaman has a good photo, Lightphotos.net has a closeup of the lantern, the Maritiem Museum Rotterdam has a historic photo, Huelse has a historic postcard view, Forand has a different postcard view, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on a promontory on the east side of the harbor of Semarang, a major port of central north Java. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-040; Admiralty K1132; NGA 23560.
Semarang West Oute Breakwater Light
West Outer Breakwater Light, Semarang, November 2010
Panoramio photo copyright James Arjuna; used by permission
Semarang Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); white flash every 2 s. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower painted with black and white horizontal bands. The tower also carries a triangular daymark, point up, painted black with a white vertical stripe. Google has a street view but the tower is inconspicuous in Google's satellite view. Located on a quay in the middle of the Semarang harbor district. Site status unknown, but the tower can be seen from nearby streets. Admiralty K1133; NGA 23552.
* Semarang Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 3 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower painted with black and white horizontal bands. The tower also carries a triangular daymark, point down, painted black with a white vertical stripe. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located beside Ampenan Street at the south end of the Semarang harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1133.1; NGA 23556.

Jepara Regency Lighthouses
Note: Jepara is a small port on Java's northern peninsula, about 55 km (35 mi) north of Semarang.
Pulau Panjang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 22 m (72 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 19 m (62 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red. Numerous coast guard buildings. A photo is at right, a closeup photo and a more distant photo (12th photo on the page) are available, and Google has a good satellite view. Pulau Panjang is a small island about 3 km (2 mi) west of Jepara harbor. Located at the west end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1138; NGA 23584.
Jepara (Djapara)
Date unknown (station established 1908). Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 3 s. 15 m (49 ft) white concrete post with double gallery mounted on a square concrete base. Hadi Bindowi has a closeup photo and a distant view, and Google has a satellite view. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-356; Admiralty K1139; NGA 23580.
Pulau Mandalika (Mondoliko)
Date unknown (station established 1887). Active; focal plane 86 m (282 ft); white flash every 5 s. 16 m (52 ft) hexagonal skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. The light is barely discernible in Ponco Suhirno's distant view of the island, but Bing has a satellite view of the station. Pulau Mandalika is a small island off the tip of Java's northern peninsula. Located at the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-224; Admiralty K1144; NGA 23572.

Karimunjawa Islands Lighthouses
Note: The Karimunjawa group includes 27 small islands located about 80 km (50 mi) northwest of Jepara. 22 of the islands are protected in the Karimunjawa National Park. Seven of the islands are inhabited, and the permanent population is about 6700. The islands are administered as part of Jepara Regency.
Pulau Nyamuk (Mosquito Island) {Pulau Njamoek} (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. 30 m (98 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. Hadi Bindowi has a good photo, and Google has a satellite view of the station. Located on a small island at the western end of the archipelago, about 130 km (80 mi) north northwest of Semarang. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-073; Admiralty K1140; NGA 23568.
Pulau Panjang Light
Pulau Panjang Light, Jepara, December 2006
Directorate of Small Islands photo (no longer online)
* Karimun (Pulau Karimunjawa, Tanjung Pudak)
Date unknown (recent). Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white flash every 3 s. 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. A photo and a second photo (halfway down the page) are available, but the tower is not clearly seen in Google's satellite view. Located on the quay at Karimun port, near the southwestern tip of the largest island of the archipelago. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1141; NGA 23569.
Pulau Genting
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 40 m (131 ft) square skeletal tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Pulau Genting is the easternmost island of the Karimunjawa archipelago. Located at or near the north end of the island. Site status unknown. ARLHS IDO-071; Admiralty K1140.5; NGA 23570.

Pati Regency Lighthouses
Tanjung Bugel
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on a low cape at the northeastern corner of Java's northern peninsula. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1144.1; NGA 23572.5.
Juana (Juwana)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white light, 1.2 s on, 4.8 s off. 14 m (46 ft) round white tower with gallery mounted on a square concrete platform. No photo available, but Google has a fuzzy satellite view. Located on submerged bank about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) northwest of the entrance to the Juwana River. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1144.2; NGA 23572.8.

Rembang Regency Lighthouses
Pulau Gurian
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 2.5 s. 14 m (46 ft) round white tower with gallery mounted on a square concrete platform. No photo available, but Google has a distant satellite view. Located on submerged bank (not an island) about 2 km (1.25 mi) off the waterfront of Rembang. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1144.8; NGA 23573.6.
* Rembang
2007 (?). Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); white flash every 5 s. 30 m (98 ft) square skeletal tower painted white. Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Rembang harbor. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1144.7.
Tanjung Bendoh
2008 (?). Active; focal plane 30 m (98 ft); white flash every 5 s. Probably an approx. 27 m (89 ft) tower, listed only as a "white beacon" when announced by the Indian Notices to Mariners in July 2008. No photo available, and the tower may be too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located on a low cape about 25 km (15 mi) east northeast of Rembang. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1144.85.

Yogyakarta Special Region South Coast Lighthouses

Note: The Yogyakarta Special Region is an enclave in the southeastern corner of Central Java Province, facing the Indian Ocean. It is unique among all regions of Indonesia in being ruled by a hereditary sultan.
Sadeng Breakwater
2010. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green flash every 4 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a square concrete platform supported by four concrete piles. Tower painted green. A photo is available, the light is on the left in a Google street view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located just off the end of the breakwater at Sadeng, a small protected harbor at the southeast corner of the Special Region. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1263.5.
Sadeng Range Front
2008. Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 12 m (39 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. A photo of the two range lights is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located on a hillside west of the harbor at Sadeng. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1263; NGA 23821.61.
Sadeng Range Rear
2008. Active; focal plane 25 m (82 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. A photo of the two range lights is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. Located 35 m (115 ft) northeast of the front light. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1263.1; NGA 23821.62.
Teluk Sadeng
2010. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red flash every 3 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower mounted on a square concrete platform supported by four concrete piles. Tower painted red. Soga Soegiarto has a 2012 photo, Sofi Mahdi Gunawan has a closeup, the light is in the center in a Google street view, and Google has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the west side of the harbor entrance at Sadeng. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1263.7.
Tanjung Sadeng
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft) (?); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with gallery, painted white. Sofi Mahdi Gunawan has a view from the bay, another photo is available, the light is at upper right in a Google street view, and Google has a satellite view. NGA lists the focal plane as 33 ft, clearly an error. Located on heights southwest of Sadeng harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1263.9; NGA 23821.6.
[Tanjung Gunung Batur]
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 83 m (272 ft); white flash every 6 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) mast tower rising from a square concrete base. Entire lighthouse is white. Koko Sasongko has a photo, and Bing has a satelite view. Located on heights southeast of Purwodadi. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1264; NGA 23821.7.
*** Pandansari (Wates, Kali Opak)
Date unknown (apparently since 1998). Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); white flash every 4 s. Approx. 38 m (125 ft) octagonal concrete tower with lantern and gallery. The tower appears to be unpainted white concrete. Six keeper's houses and other buildings. Satrio Tan's photo is at right, a more distant view is available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. This lighthouse seems to have many names; it is Wates in the Admiralty list and Kali Opak in the NGA List. Pandansari (the name of the nearby beach) seems to be the local name. The lighthouse does not seem to be well known outside the local area. Located on the south coast of Java about 30 km (19 mi) south of Yogjakarta. Site open, tower open by arrangement with the attendant, who charges a fee for tours. Admiralty K1264.5; NGA 23821.9.
Karang Wuni (Glagah Kulon Progo,Wates)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 25 m (82 ft) skeletal tower, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Another light with multiple and confusing names. Located above the beach in Wates, in the Kulon Progo District about 35 km (22 mi) west of Yogyakarta City. Site status unknown. Admiralty K1265; NGA 23822.
Pandansari Light
Pandansari Light, Sanden, July 2008
Panoramio photo copyright Satrio Tan; permission requested

Central Java Province South Coast Lighthouses

Purworejo Regency Lighthouses
** Ketawang (2?)
Date unknown (before 1998). Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); white flash every 4 s (?). Approx. 26 m (85 ft) round white concrete tower with four ribs, lantern and gallery. A photo by Arrina Mayang is at right, a 2013 photo is available, another nice photo (2/3 the way down the page) is available, and Google has a satellite view. The tower is very similar to the Pandansari Light. This lighthouse is accessible by road, but it is not well known. Located near the coast about 20 km (13 mi) south of Purworejo. Site open, and Mayang was able to climb the tower. Admiralty K1276.5; NGA 23822.2.

Kebumen Regency Lighthouses
* Klirong (2)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 42 m (138 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 35 m (115 ft) octagonal white concrete tower with lantern and four galleries. A photo and a closeup are available, and Google has a street view and a satellite view. The tower is similar to the Bedadung Light shown on the Eastern Java page. The original lighthouse was a square skeletal tower. This lighthouse is in a well-populated area, but it is not on any route likely to be taken by tourists. Located near the coast about 20 km (13 mi) south of Kebumen. Site probably open, tower closed. Admiralty K1276.2; NGA 23822.4.
* Tanjung Karangbata (Karang Batu, Menganti)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 63 m (207 ft); white flash every 5 s. Approx. 12 m (39 ft) round fiberglass (?) tower rising from a square equipment shelter. Entire lighthouse is white. A closeup photo and a second closeup are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located on heights of a sharp promontory near Ayah, about 30 km (19 mi) west of Kebumen. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1276; NGA 23822.6.

Cilacap Regency Lighthouses
Note: Cilicap is the only major commercial port on the south coast of Central Java. The regency has a population of about 1.6 million.
* Teluk Penyu
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 15 m (49 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower. Google has a street view and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the waterfront of Cilacap's fishing harbor. Site open, tower closed. ARLHS IDO-085; Admiralty K1267; NGA 23823.
Ketawang Light
Ketawang Light, Purworejo, April 2014
photo copyright Arrina Mayang; permission requested
Teluk Penyu Entrance Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 17 m (56 ft) square tower, mounted on a square pier supported by piles. Henry Mazuu has a photo, Gunarto Pituruh has a view from the beach, and Google has a satellite view. Located in the water about 500 m (0.3 mi) east of the rear light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1270.1; NGA 23828.
* Teluk Penyu Entrance Range Rear
2007(?). Active; focal plane 23 m (79 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower, covered with white metal panels. Gunarto Pituruh has a photo, a second photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. In Erwin Hanafi's 2009 photo, the upper panels are missing and the red skeletal structure of the tower is visible; however, this photo may show a different lighthouse. Located on the beach at the Teluk Penyu (Penyu Bay oil terminal near Cilacap. Site apparently open, tower closed. Admiralty K1270.11; NGA 23832.
Teluk Penyu Second Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 17 m (56 ft) square tower, mounted on a square pier supported by piles. Soga Soegiarto's photo is at right, Ahmad Fuad Hasan has a view from the beach, and Google has a satellite view. Located in the water about 2 km (1.2 mi) southeast of the Entrance Range Front Light. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty K1272; NGA 23836.
* Teluk Penyu Second Range Rear
2007(?). Active; focal plane 23 m (79 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 22 m (72 ft) square skeletal tower, covered with white metal panels. No photo available, and trees hide the tower in Google's satellite view. Located on the beach at the Teluk Penyu (Penyu Bay oil terminal near Cilacap. Site apparently open, tower closed. Admiralty K1272.1; NGA 23840.
Cimiring (Cilacap, Tjilatjap, Noesa Kambangan) (2)
Date unknown (station established 1870). Active; focal plane 178 m (584 ft); white flash every 5.5 s. Listed as a 32 m (105 ft) round stone tower with lantern and gallery, painted white. However, a 2015 photo and another a recent photo shows a round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery centered on a round 1-story concrete base; the height appears to be about 12 m (40 ft). This photo is consistent with Google's satellite view of the station. The Tropenmuseum has a historic photo of the original lighthouse, and Huelse has a historic postcard view. Located at the east end of the island of Kambangan, marking the entrance to the port of Cilacap. Accessible by a hiking trail, but local guidance is probably needed. Site open, and visitors are free to climb atop the base of the tower. ARLHS IDO-060; Admiralty K1268; NGA 23824.
Teluk Penyu Second Range Front Light
Teluk Penyu Second Range Front Light, Cilacap, August 2010
Panoramio photo copyright Soga Soegiarto; used by permission

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Kalimantan (Borneo) | East: Eastern Java | West: Western Java

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Posted April 13, 2006. Checked and revised February 3, 2017. Lighthouses: 37. Site copyright 2017 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.