Catholic Church, Berastagi, North Sumatra: Gereja Katolik St. Fransiskus Asisi, Brastagi, Karo, Sumatera Uta, Indonesia

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Comments (14)

jeff_msn123 on May 27, 2011

nice design of church. Fine photo. LIKE

Cheers from Hong Kong, Jeff

Sanjay Poudyal on May 28, 2011


Ian Stehbens on May 29, 2011

Interesting architecture indeed. This large church reflects the traditional architecture of the Karo Batak people from this area of North Sumatra.Glad you appreciate the image, Jeff. Thanks.


Ian Stehbens on May 29, 2011

Thanks Sanjay. The whole region is a very attractive place to live, because of the high altitude and the equatorial location. The volcanic soils make it a very productive landscape. Both the Karo Batak people and their neighbours the Toba Bataks have very distinctive cultures with strong architectural designs that have been adapted by the church and also by tourism.


bdeh on May 30, 2011

Nice shot Ian. One picture is taken at Java and this one at Sumatra. Are you islandhopping? Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on May 30, 2011

I was Berend. I was island hoping: Australia - Java - Bali - Java - Sumatra - Singapore - Australia. And the camera hopped around with me. I love Indonesia. I have some wonderful friends in each place. YOu must consider Indonesia also for one of your big adventures, or at least on your return trip to OZ!



bdeh on May 30, 2011

We stopped for 6 days at Bali in 2003 when we were going home from OZ Ian. Very nice place and friendly people. Greetings Berend

Ian Stehbens on May 31, 2011

Greetings Berend,

I think you have told me of your Bali visit before, so I am sorry I overlooked that. Of course, Indonesia is very extensive and very diverse and Bali is unique, so I will encourage visits to other parts of the Republic, anytime.



ƤōƝƓ on June 4, 2011

Definitely a most unique catholic church.

Golden ☆ + LIKEd

Ian Stehbens on June 5, 2011

The Batak people of North Sumatra may be divided into two distinct sub-cultures: Toba Batak and Karo Batak. The Toba Batak people live around Lake Toba, and here to the north of the lake is the region of the Karo Batak people. Their architecture is somewhat similar yet quite different.

Ah-POng, I am not sure what the historic relationship was with the Toraja People of South Sulawesi highlands, if any, except that there appears, to me at least, to be similarities of architecture with them too, as well as similar patterns of belief and traditional cultural practice. You being a resident of SE Asia, may have a more intimate knowledge of these cultures and be able to inform me.

Part of the contextualisation of the gospel that has occurred in each of these areas is that the architecture of the churches reflects the traditional cultural designs.

A visit to this church reveals many elements of contextualisation.

It makes the church distinctive and appealing.

For this photo I chose this side view in order to place it in its rural context.

I sincerely appreciate your response to this and the awards.


Jack Ginting on January 26, 2012

Hi Ian, The Batak people of North Sumatra divided into five distict sub-cultures: Batak Toba, Batak Karo, Batak Simalungun, Batak Pakpak/Dairi and Batak Mandailing. as you say, it is right that their architecture is somewhat similar yet quite different. Like it!

Ian Stehbens on January 29, 2012

Thank you Jack for educating me on the other sub-cultures within the Batak culture. I appreciate your correction very much. Apart from the culture, I also love the landscape of North Sumatra. I am pleased to be able to add a few images of the area to GE.

Terima kasih.


Jack Ginting on January 29, 2012

Hello Ian. I'm glad for your respons. I come from Batak Karo (Kabanjahe) and in this last 10 yeas I live in Italy. So, I know somethimg about Batak tribe in Sumatra. I am pleased too to see more images from my homeland. All the best from Italy. Jack.

Jack Ginting on January 29, 2012

You could see also the same church on my gallery! Terimakasih (Bujur in Batak Karo).

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Photo taken in Sempajaya, Berastagi, Karo Regency, North Sumatra, Indonesia

Photo details

  • Uploaded on May 26, 2011
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens