CountryBrunei Population27,285 (2001) Area100.36 km2
Points of interestSultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque, Istana Nurul Iman, Brunei Museum, Malay Technology Museum, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium Colleges and UniversitiesUniversiti Brunei Darussalam, Seri Begawan Religious Teachers University College, Institut Teknologi Brunei, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali, Sultan Saiful Rijal Technical College
Bandar Seri BegawanBA(H)ND-?s?-REEb?-GOW-?n (Jawi: ???? ??? ?????? ) formerly known as Brunei Town, with an estimated population of more than 200,000 (in 2014), is the capital and largest city of the Sultanate of Brunei.
Human settlement in Brunei can be traced back as far as 6th and 7th century with Malay trading centre and fishing port located near the current site of this city. The first settlement on the banks of the Brunei River can be traced back to the 8th century where there had been settlements similar to those in Kampong Ayer, located near the present site of the Brunei Museum with the modern city on the opposite shore. During the Bruneian Empire period from 15th-17th century, the Sultanate ruled much part of Borneo including the southern part of the Philippines and its capital of Manila, with the water settlement near the city area became the third centre of the administration after been moved twice from Kota Batu and Kampong Ayer. When the Sultanate rule declined through the eighteenth century due to the arrival of western powers such as the Spanish, Dutch and the British, this settlement population was totally decreased from its peak of 20,000 inhabitants. From 1888 until its independence in 1984, Brunei had became a British protectorate and land development began in 1906 when the British resident encouraged the Sultanate citizens to moved on a reclaimed land on the western bank of the inlet. Sultan Muhammad Jamalul Alam II established a new palace on the west bank in 1909 after been persuaded by the British, along with the arriving of Chinese traders to boost the its economy. Mosque and government buildings was also built along the western shores in 1920. In the same year, the new settlement was declared as a new capital of Brunei and became a municipal area.
However, the city prosperous was almost over when the city been captured by the Japanese in 1941 before been recaptured back by the Allied forces in 1945. During the war, most infrastructures were destroyed either by Japanese or Allied bombs. But the British doing a lot to reconstruct most of its possession in Borneo at the end of 1945 with law order been restored and the reopening of schools. Already in 1950, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien III negotiated with the British at the start of his accession to the throne for an increase in corporate taxes, from 10% to 30% in 1953. An M$1.2 million (US$0.39 million) allotted to Brunei for war damages during the Japanese occupation, increasing from M$1 million in 1946 to M$100 million (US$32.6 million) in 1952. A five-year development plan with a total budget of (M$100 million) was also implemented in 1953, with infrastructures received the most part of 80% and another 20% for social programmes. Together with the expansion of oil and gas industry, the industry has began to transform Bruneis capital and a large number of public buildings was then constructed along with the development of central business district from 1970s and 1980s. On 1 August 2007, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah gave consent for the extension of the city from 12.87 km2 (4.97 sq mi) to 100.36 km2 (38.75 sq mi). The list of the included villages and mukims can be seen on the expansion section below.
Bandar Seri Begawan is located at 4°5325"N, 114°5632"E, on the northern bank of the Brunei River.
Places of interest
The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque - Built in 1958, it features a golden dome and an interior of Italian marble walls, carpeting and an elevator. It also has tunnels, which are used by the sultan on journeys through the town. This mosque is considered by some one of the worlds most beautiful mosques
Jameasr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque - This mosque is the largest mosque in Brunei. It was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the sultans reign. It is locally known as the Kiarong mosque.
The city produces furniture, textiles, handicrafts, and timber. Royal Brunei Airlines, the national airline, has its head office in the RBA Plaza in the city.
Brunei Museum (Muzium Brunei) - Located on an archaeological site at Kota Batu about 5 km (3.1 mi) from Bandar Seri Begawan, this museum is the largest in the country. It was first established in 1965 and occupied its present site since 1970. Officially opened in 1972, the museum focuses on Islamic history, natural history, Brunei artefacts and customs, ceramics and the oil industry of Brunei. of oil, process of drilling, refining, the history of the petroleum industry in Brunei and a map depicting current oil fields..
Malay Technology Museum - The museum was officially opened in 1988.
The Royal Regalia Building - Located at Jalan Sultan, this museum is devoted to the sultan Hassanal Bolkiah. The main gallery displays the coronation and Silver Jubilee Chariots, gold and silver ceremonial armoury and traditional jewellery encrusted coronation crowns. A collection of documents that chronicles the sultans life up to the coronation together with the constitutional history gallery is also housed in the same building.
The Brunei History Centre - Located at Jalan Sultan next to the Royal Regalia building is the Brunei history centre. The centre was opened in 1982 with a brief to research the history of Brunei. Much of that work has been establishing the genealogy and history of the sultans and royal family. The public display has a wealth of information on these subjects including replicas and brass rubbings of tombs. A flow chart giving the entire lineage of the Brunei sultans can be found at the entrance.
Brunei Stamp Gallery - The recently opened Brunei Stamp Gallery is located inside the post office building in Jalan Sultan.
Bubongan Duabelas - The name which translates to the House of Twelve Roofs is located in Jalan Residency. It was built in 1906 and was formerly the official residence of British residents and high commissioners in Brunei. It is one of the oldest surviving building in Bandar Seri Begawan. It now serves as a gallery that exhibits the long-standing relationship between the sultanate and the United Kingdom
The Arts and Handicrafts Centre - Located at Jalan Residency it was opened in 1980. Bruneis fine arts and crafts date back to centuries and are part of the nations proud heritage. The Arts and Handicrafts Centre conducts courses in silverware, brassware, woodcarving, songkok-making, weaving and basketry.