2004
Volume 60 Number 2
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729

Abstract

Abstract

During the second half of the nineteenth and first decades of the twentieth century, the view from Hotel Bellevue in Buitenzorg (now: Bogor) became one of the obligatory sights for the Western tourist visiting Java. In numerous colonial travel texts from this period we find laudatory descriptions of this must-see. In addition to textual descriptions, visual depictions appeared; the panorama was frequently represented in etchings, drawings, paintings, photographs, and postcards. Drawing on Dean MacCannell’s sociological site sacralization theory (1976), which is supplemented by Sean Smith’s insights on the colonial picturesque aesthetic (2019), this article attempts to show how the textual and visual representations of this particular sight contributed both to its development as a tourist attraction in the Dutch East Indies and the consolidation of the imperial status quo at the time. In this way, we will get a better understanding of how tourism in the Dutch East Indies contributed to the creation and perpetuation of a colonial reality.

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