Batak Rooflines perforate Lake Toba

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (18)

bdeh on August 4, 2010

Very nice picture Ian with the beautiful Batak roofs. Greetings Berend

gezginruh on August 4, 2010

Very very nice composition !

Warmly. Fü

Ian Stehbens on August 5, 2010

Thanks indeed, Berend. I am very pleased that you warm to Batak culture! I hope I can soon catch up on your uploads - provided the system here keeps working!

Warm regards,


Ian Stehbens on August 5, 2010

Hello ,

It is a great place to come for a very cheap holiday. Once the Asian currencies collapsed some years ago followed by SARS then terrorism threats, the tourists stopped coming to this part of the world but now it is still very special but very low cost. Pity there isn't a train from Istanbul to the Far East!

Warm regards,


bdeh on August 5, 2010

My latest uploads are taken in the "area" of this picture Ian. I hope you likes them. Greetings Berend

Nick Weall on August 5, 2010

Very pleasing roof shapes Ian ~ for some strange reason a certain Opera House springs to mind ~ all the best to you ~ nick (and a hitting of the like button)

gezginruh on August 6, 2010

We have always a train within us to arrive such a special place like Danau Tobai, isn't it my dear Ian?


Füsun K.

Theolfa on August 7, 2010

Intriguing roof shapes, Ian, and another nice geography lesson. Thanks! Theolfa

Amelia Royan on August 9, 2010

The rooves are beautifully framed by the conifer, Ian.

I wonder why Pan doesn't accept 'rooves' as a correct spelling? Maybe it is as archaic as I am :)

Warm greetings, Amelia

Ian Stehbens on August 10, 2010

Hello Nick and Theolfa. The galvanised iron roofs may be found in many a north Australian town or city and strewn across the rural landscape, but the pointed ends to keep the evil spirits from settling are distinctively Batak! Batak traditional roofs here are used for this hotel. back in the heydays of the 1970s and 1980s this was a very popular international tourist destination, but economies and geopolitics have changed so radically since then that this area now struggles to attract international tourists.

Sorry that my travels and residence in places of unreliable internet access has limited my engagement with your galleries, but there will be a time when i am able to catch up. In the meantime, best wishes.

Ian (in Tonga again)

Ian Stehbens on August 10, 2010

Dear Berend,

Malaysia isn't so far away from here at all. I am sure you can therefore sense my delight in Lake Toba as I recognize your joy in visiting Kinabalu!


Ian Stehbens on August 10, 2010

Neither you nor I is archaic, Amy!! Rooves are groovey, dear friend! These traditional rooves from Batak Culture cover the place where one's treasures are stored and therefore are worthy of the rooves spelling. Roofs are for sheds and pedestrian houses and things very ordinary!


Ian Stehbens on August 10, 2010

Dear Maria,

These long buildings are wings of a hotel complex. The roof shapes and design are from the architectural traditions of the Batak people who live in the vicinity of this huge lake. Their houses are built with three levels: people live on the middle level, they stored their treasures above, and the underworld level was where the buffalo or pigs lived. The points on the ends of the roofs are spiritual statements. Today almost all Bataks are Christians and one of their major churches has just celebrated its centenary.

Thanks for the invitation to your gallery.


Ian Stehbens on August 10, 2010

Hello again dear Füsun. That train within is shared with other red pomegranates.


gondor on August 10, 2010

It looks like tin roofs. It must rain a lot. I am walking the St. James Pilgrimage in Northern Spain. Just posting some pics from my cellular. Take ker

ƤōƝƓ on August 14, 2010

This composition is even much better than the upright one you posted later. :) LIKE

Ian Stehbens on August 16, 2010

It rains well here, gondor! Steep rooves are just the answer, whether they are thatch or iron! I trust your walk along the pilgrimage trail is most memorable. I will catch up and enjoy it with you.

Warm regards from Tonga again.


Ian Stehbens on August 16, 2010

Thanks Ah-Pong. Every Like click is encouraging indeed.

Indonesian greetings come via Tonga.


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Photo taken in Tuktuk Siadong, Simanindo, Samosir, North Sumatra, Indonesia

Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 4, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens