In the 17th-18th century, the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) created small plantations in Bandung, with a road Batavia (Jakarta) completedin 1786. In 1809, Louis Napoleon, the ruler of Netherlands and its colonies, ordered the Dutch Indies Governor H.W. Daendles to improve Java’s defenses against the threat of the English, who occupied the nearby Malay peninsula. Daendles responded by building the Great Post Road (Postweg), which stretched about 1000 km between the west and east costs of Java. As much of the north coast was impassable swamp and marsh at the time, the road was diverted through Bandung along what is now Jalan Asia-Afrika.
Daendles liked Bandung’s strategic location so much that he ordered the capital to be moved there. Military barracks were built and Bupati Wiranatakusumah II, the chief administrator of theat area, built his dalem (palace), Masjid Agung (the grand mosque) and pendopo (meeting place) in the classical Javan alun-alun (city square) stule near a pair of holy city wells (Sumur Bandung) and facing the mystical mountain of Tangkuban Parahu.
Powered by its plantation’s of cinchona (for malaria drug quinine), tea and coffee, Bandung prospered and developed into an exclusive European resort style with hotels,cafes and shops.many of bandung’s landmarks,including the preanger and savoyhomann hotels as well as the shopping street of jalan braga,date to this time.the Concordia society,now gedung merdeka,was built with a large ball room as a club for rich Europeans at the weekends.