Medan is the capital city of the Sumatera Utara (North Sumatra) province of Indonesia. It is located in the north of the province, at 3°35′ N 98°40′ E, and has a nearby harbour, Belawan, and an international airport.
Officially Medan's birthdate is 1 July 1590.
The city is Indonesia's third most populous after Surabaya and Jakarta, with approximately 2.5 million people. Compared to Jakarta, the city might seem a little provincial, as it lacks most of the glossy Western skyscrapers and shops.
Medan's embryo was a village called Kampung Medan (Medan Village). Kampung Medan was founded by Guru Patimpus around the 1590s. Because Kampung Medan sits on Tanah Deli (Land of Deli), Kampung Medan is also referred as Medan-Deli. The original location of Kampung Medan is an area where the River of Deli meets River Babura.
The first inhabitants of Medan came from the Batak Karo community. It was not until the King of Aceh, Sultan Iskandar Muda, sent his warlord, Gocah Pahlawan Laksamana Khoja Bintan, to be the Kingdom of Aceh's representative in Tanah Deli, that the Kingdom of Deli started to grow. This growth stimulated growth in both the population and culture of Medan.
Medan did not enjoy vast development until the 1860s, when the Dutch colonialists began clearing the land for tobacco plantations. Medan quickly became a centre of government and commercial activity, dominating development of Indonesia's western region.
The Dutch governed Tanah Deli from 1658, after Sultan Ismail, ruler of the Kingdom of Siak Sri Indrapura, yielded some of his once-ruled land, Deli, Langkat, and Serdang. In 1915 Medan officially became the capital of North Sumatera Province, and officially a city at 1918.
There are many older buildings in Medan that still retain their Dutch architecture. Some buildings are: the old City Hall, Post Office Center, Water Tower which has been Medan City's icon, and Titi Gantung - a bridge over railway.
There are several historic places such as Maimun Palace and the Great Mosque (Masjid Raya) of Medan.
The newest food court in central of Medan city is Kesawan Square and
Merdeka Walk. Many kinds of Indonesian, Western and Chinese cuisine become
A uniqueness of Medan is its motorized becaks found almost everywhere in Medan. Unlike traditional becaks, a motorized becak can take its passenger to anywhere in the city. There are also more common transport like taxis and minibuses.
Railroad tracks connect Medan to Tanjungpura to the northwest, to port of Belawan to the north, and to Binjai, Tebing Tinggi and Pematang Siantar to the southeast.
The seaport of Belawan is about 20 km to the north. Polonia International
Airport is located in the heart of the city. A planned new modern International
Airport will be build on Kuala Namu area in 2008.
A tollroad connects Medan to Belawan and Tanjungmorawa. Medan–Lubuk Pakam and Medan–Binjai are being planned.