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Pematangsiantar is an independent city in North Sumatera, Indonesia, surrounded by, but not part of, the Simalungun Regency. Pematangsiantar formerly had the status of a second level district and has been elevated to Kota - its population was 219,319 in 1990 Census, 242,756 in 2000 Census, and 229,525 in the 2005 Intercensal count. making it the second largest city in the province after the provincial capital Medan.Administrative divisionsThe city is divided administratively into eight districts (kecamatan), tabulated below with their 2010 Census population:HistoryBefore 1907, Pematangsiantar was a Kingdom led by the Damanik. Damanik is one of the clans of the Simalungun ethnic group of the Batak people. The last king of the dynasty was 'Tuan Sangnawaluh Damanik. In 1907, the Dutch took control, turning Pematangsiantar into their colony. The city remained under Dutch control until 1942 when the Japanese invaded and ruled over Indonesia.After Indonesia proclaimed its freedom in 1945, Pematangsiantar was granted the autonomous status. In 1974, Pematangsiantar became a second level district, and was appointed as the capital of Simalungun Regency.InhabitantsPematangsiantar's native inhabitants are the Simalungun Batak people. Nowadays, Chinese and ethnic Malays (including Javanese) also inhabit some parts of the city, especially around the downtown area. The most developed part of the town is along the streets named Jalan Merdeka and Jalan Sutomo.Plan how to spend your time in Pematangsiantar and other destinations in Indonesia using our Indonesia family vacation planner.
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