In 1595, merchants from Amsterdam embarked upon an expedition to the East Indies archipelago.
Under the command of Cornelis de Houtman, the expedition reached Bantam, capital of the Sultanate of Banten, and Jayakarta in 1596 to trade in spices.
This engraving of Jayakarta was made from an original work between 1605-1608.
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The city consisted of two centers: Oud Batavia or Benedenstad ("Lower City"), the oldest, the lowest and the most unhealthy part of the city, and Bovenstad ("Upper City"), the relatively newer city located on the higher ground to the south.
Batavia was a colonial city for about 320 years until 1942 when the Dutch East Indies fell under Japanese occupation during World War II.
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In 1602, the English East India Company's first voyage, commanded by Sir James Lancaster, arrived in Aceh and sailed on to Bantam.
There he was allowed to build a trading post that became the center of English trade in Indonesia until 1682.
Just as modern Jakarta may refer to either the city itself or to the larger area of the city, with its geographic surroundings, which taken together is one of the provinces of Indonesia, Batavia can refer to the city proper as it existed then, with its various increases over time in urbanized acreage, or can refer to the surrounding hinterland.