Pasar Snees or now better known as Pasar Senen is the oldest market in Jakarta. It is named Pasar Senen because trading in this market which initially took place every Monday and was dominated by the Chinese ethnic community. Along the way, the name of this market changed to Vinck passer (referring to the developer, Yustinus Vinck). This market opened on August 30, 1733, in the area formerly known as Weltevreden.

The construction of Pasar Senen coincided with the construction of Tanah Abang Market, namely on August 30, 1733, by a landlord who was also an architect named Yustinus Vinck from the land belonging to a member of the Council of the Indies named Corrnelis Chastelein. Although initially this market only opened on Monday, in 1766, this bustling market finally opened for days other than Monday.

In its development, the face of the Senen market and the area around it is constantly changing. For more than 274 years this market area has kept many stories and history happened in it. In the pre-independence era (1930s), the area around the Senen market was a gathering area for young intellectuals and underground fighters from Stovia. Several movement leaders, such as Chairul Saleh, Adam Malik, as well as Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta, often held meetings in this area.

During the Japanese colonial era (1942) until the 1950s, the area around Pasar Senen was a favorite gathering place for artists from the new poet era. They are nicknamed the Artists. Names such as Ajip Rosidi, Sukarno M. Noor, Wim Umboh, and H.B. Jassin appeared from Monday.

Entering the era of the 1970-90s, the name of the Pasar Senen area was getting bigger and bigger as a center of economy and entertainment. Even when cinema film shows were introduced in Jakarta, Senen was not left behind. Two cinema buildings “Rex” and “Grand” were built to fulfill the people’s desire for entertainment.

The phenomenon of the excitement of the Pasar Senen area as the center of the economy and entertainment is increasingly becoming the case when Governor Ali Sadikin announced the construction of the “Senen Project” which is equipped with a circular parking building facility. That is the location of the first parking building in Jakarta.

Unfortunately, since the mass riots in 1998, the prestige of the Pasar Senen area has started to fade, especially in the east of Pasar Senen a modern shopping center Plaza Atrium has been built which automatically draws visitors to shop there rather than Pasar Senen. Along with the times, the Pasar Senen area has begun to be abandoned. Its grandeur and opulence slowly faded away. Big stalls are now being replaced by street vendors who spread their wares to the side of the road. The historical market area has started to become slum and unkempt. In the early 2000s, Pasar Senen was known as one of the most vulnerable areas in the capital city, which made it even more reluctant for consumers to transact in the Senen market.

The restructuring and modernization efforts of Pasar Senen have actually begun, to be precise in 2011 a project of connecting the Plaza Atrium and Pasar Senen (northern part) was built. The connecting bridge with a modern concept, by combining the bridge building with the stalls along the bridge is expected to be able to move consumers to enliven Pasar Senen while increasing the diversity of products sold between Plaza Atrium and Pasar Senen.

Pasar Senen today, is a combination of traditional markets and modern markets. We can find many product variants on the Senen market. From food and beverages (Pasar Senen is famous for its Subuh Cake Market) to sales of auto parts & accessories. Pasar Senen is also well-known as one of the wholesale centers for women’s bags and accessories / trinkets, which are widely visited by customers from various regions in Indonesia. Pasar Senen also provides office stationery supplies and opens booths selling casual and formal wear.

On Friday, 25 April 2014, Pasar Senen caught fire. Fire location in Blok-3, Pasar Senen Project. The fire engulfed some of the stalls in the market. A report from the TMC Polda Metro Jaya said the fire broke out at 04.20 WIB. The Central Jakarta Fire Department Sub-dept. Deployed 33 units of fire engines to extinguish the fire. Until now, at 07.29, the fire is still ongoing.

Maful Ashari, the lighting operator for the Central Jakarta Fire Brigade, explained that of the 33 units of branwier cars that were dispatched, five of them used fire trucks from the East Jakarta Fire Department. Meanwhile, the other five units are operational assistance unit vehicles.

On Thursday, 19 January 2017, another fire broke out in Blok III Pasar Senen, Central Jakarta, at around 04.20 WIB, and 56 fire engines were deployed to extinguish the fire that burned the market block. The burning location of Pasar Senen is right facing the Pasar Senen overpass towards Matraman, East Jakarta. About 500 stalls caught fire in Block I and III of the area.

Source : wikipedia