Surabaya (Suroboyo) is locally believed to derive its name from the words "suro" (shark) and "boyo" (crocodile), two creatures which, in a local myth, fought each other in order to gain the title of "the strongest and most powerful animal" in the area. It was said that the two powerful animals agreed a truce and set boundaries: the shark's domain would be the sea while the crocodile's domain would be the land. However one day the shark swam into the river estuary to hunt. This angered the crocodile, who declared it his territory. The shark argued that the river was a water realm which meant that it was shark territory, while the crocodile argued that the river flowed deep inland, so it was therefore crocodile territory. A ferocious fight resumed as the two animals bit each other's tails. Neither of them won the fight.
Another source alludes to a prophecy of Jayabaya, a 12th-century psychic king of Kediri Kingdom, foreseeing a fight between a giant white shark and a giant white crocodile taking place in the area, which is sometimes interpreted as foretelling the Mongol invasion of Java, a major conflict between the forces of Kublai Khan, Mongol ruler of China, and those of Raden Wijaya's Majapahit in 1293. The two animals are now used as the city's symbol, with the two facing and circling each other, as depicted in a statue appropriately located near the entrance to the city zoo.
Alternate derivations proliferate: from the Javanese "sura ing baya", meaning "bravely facing danger"; or from the use of "surya" to refer to the sun. Some people consider Jayabaya's prophecy as being about the great war between native Surabayan people and foreign invaders at the start of the war of independence in 1945. Another story tells of two heroes who fought each other in order to be the king of the city. The two heroes were named Sura and Baya. These folk etymologies, though embraced enthusiastically by its people and city leaders, are unverifiable.
The earliest record of Surabaya was in the 1225 book Zhu fan zhi written by Zhao Rugua, in which it was called Jung-ya-lu. The name Janggala was probably originated from the name "Hujung Galuh" (Old Javanese lit: "Cape Diamond" or "Cape Gemstone"), or "Jung-ya-lu" according to Chinese source. Hujung Galuh was located on the estuarine of Brantas River and today is the part of modern Surabaya city and Sidoarjo Regency.
By the 14th to 15th century, Surabaya seems to be one of Majapahit ports or coastal settlements, together with Tuban, Gresik, and Hujung Galuh (Sidoarjo). Ma Huan documented the early fifteenth-century visit of Zheng He's treasure ships in his 1433 book Yingyai Shenglan: "after traveling south for more than twenty li, the ship reached Sulumayi, whose foreign name is Surabaya. At the estuary, the outflowing water is fresh".
Ma Huan visited Java during Zheng He's 4th expedition in the 1413, during the reign of Majapahit king Wikramawardhana. He describes his travel to Majapahit capital, first he arrived to the port of Tu-pan (Tuban) where he saw large numbers of Chinese settlers migrated from Guangdong and Chou Chang. Then he sailed east to thriving new trading town of Ko-erh-hsi (Gresik), Su-pa-erh-ya (Surabaya), and then sailing inland into the river by smaller boat to southwest until reached the Brantas river port of Chang-ku (Changgu). Continued travel by land to southwest he arrived in Man-che-po-I (Majapahit), where the Javanese king stay.
By late 15th century, Islam began to take its root in Surabaya. The settlement of Ampel Denta, located around Ampel Mosque in today Ampel sub-district, Semampir district, north Surabaya, was established by a charismatic Islamic proselytizer Sunan Ampel.
In the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Surabaya grew to be a duchy, a major political and military power in eastern Java. The Portuguese writer Tomé Pires mentioned that a Muslim lord was in power in Surabaya in 1513 though likely still a vassal of the Hindu–Buddhist Majapahit. At that time, Surabaya was already a major trading port, owing to its location on the River Brantas delta and on the trade route between Malacca and the Spice Islands via the Java Sea. During the decline of Majapahit, the lord of Surabaya resisted the rise of the Demak Sultanate, and only submitted to its rule in 1530. Surabaya became independent after the death of Sultan Trenggana of Demak in 1546.
The Duchy of Surabaya entered a conflict with, and was later captured by, the more powerful Sultanate of Mataram in 1625 under Sultan Agung. It was one of Mataram's fiercest campaigns, in which they had to conquer Surabaya's allies, Sukadana and Madura, and to lay siege to the city before capturing it. With this conquest, Mataram then controlled almost the whole of Java, with the exception of the Sultanate of Banten and the Dutch settlement of Batavia.
The expanding Dutch East India Company took the city over from a weakened Mataram in November 1743. In consolidating its rule over Surabaya and, in time, the rest of East Java, the Dutch collaborated with leading regional magnates, including Ngabehi Soero Pernollo (1720–1776), his brother Han Bwee Kong, Kapitein der Chinezen (1727–1778) and the latter's son, Han Chan Piet, Majoor der Chinezen (1759–1827), all from the powerful Han family of Lasem.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Surabaya was the largest city in Dutch East Indies. Surabaya became a major trading center under the Dutch colonial government, and hosted the largest naval base in the colony. Surabaya was also the largest city in the colony serving as the center of Java's plantation economy, industry and were supported by its natural harbor. In 1920, a census recorded that Batavia had become the largest city. In 1917, a revolt occurred among the soldiers and sailors of Surabaya, led by the Indies Social Democratic Association. The revolt was firmly crushed and the insurgents given harsh sentences.
Japan occupied the city in 1942, as part of the occupation of Indonesia, and it was bombed by the Allies in 1944. After Japanese surrender at the end of World War II Surabaya was seized by Indonesian nationalists. The young nation soon came into conflict with the British, who had become caretakers of the Dutch colony after the surrender of the Japanese.
The Battle of Surabaya, one of the well-known battles of the Indonesian revolution, started after the Arek-Arek Suroboyo (Teenagers of Surabaya) assassinated the British Brigadier Mallaby on October 30, 1945 near Jembatan Merah (the "Red Bridge"), allegedly with a stray bullet. The Allies gave an ultimatum to the Republicans inside the city to surrender, but they refused. The ensuing battle, which cost thousands of lives, took place on November 10, which Indonesians subsequently celebrate as Hari Pahlawan (Heroes' Day). The incident of the red-white flag (the Dutch flag at the top of Yamato Hotel's tower that was torn into the Indonesian red-white flag) by Bung Tomo is also recorded as a heroic feat during the struggle of this city.
The city is known as Kota Pahlawan "city of heroes" due to the importance of the Battle of Surabaya in galvanizing Indonesian and international support for Indonesian independence during the Indonesian National Revolution.
In June 2011, Surabaya received the Adipura Kencana Award as number one among 20 cities in Indonesia. Surabaya was reported by a Singaporean as being clean and green.
Surabaya locates on the northern coast of East Java province. It is mostly lowlands with a river estuary of Kalimas, one of two branches of Brantas River. Surabaya city borders Madura Strait in the north and east, Sidoarjo Regency in the south, and Gresik Regency in the west. The regencies surrounding Surabaya are:
Like many other large Indonesian metropolises, many residents reside outside the city limits in a metropolitan area called Gerbangkertosusila.
Surabaya features a tropical wet and dry climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons. The city's wet season runs from November through June, while the dry season covers the remaining five months. Unlike a number of cities and regions with a tropical wet and dry climate, average high and low temperatures are very consistent throughout the course of the year, with an average high temperature of around 31 degrees Celsius and average low temperatures of around 26 degrees Celsius.
The city has its own local government and legislative body. The mayor and members of representatives are locally elected by popular vote for a 5-year term.The city government enjoys greater decentralization of affairs than the provincial body, such as the provision of public schools, public health facilities and public transportation. Current Mayor of the city is Tri Rismaharini, who is the first female mayor in Surabaya and has led Surabaya to achieve multiple regional, national and international awards since her first term as Surabaya Mayor in 2010. In 2012 Surabaya was awarded the “ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable City Award”. Besides Mayor and Deputy Mayor, there is Surabaya Municipal People's Representative Council, which is a legislative body of 50 council members directly elected by the people in legislative elections every five years.
Surabaya is divided into 31 kecamatan (districts), and 161 urban villages. The dirtricts are grouped into 5 areas of Central, North, South, East and West. The districts are as follows,
Surabaya is the second most populous city in Indonesia with 2,765,908 recorded in the chartered city limits (kota) in the 2010 census. With the extended metropolitan development area called Gerbangkertosusila (derived from Gresik-Bangkalan-Mojokerto-Surabaya-Sidoarjo-Lamongan) adding more than nine million inhabitants in several cities and approximately 50 districts spread over non-contiguous urban areas including Gresik, Sidoarjo, Mojokerto and Pasuruan regencies. Though central government of Indonesia recognizes only the metropolitan area (Surabaya, Gresik and Sidarjo) as Greater Surabaya (Zona Surabaya Raya) with a population of 6,484,206 (2010), making Surabaya now the third largest metropolitan area in Indonesia. The city is highly urbanized, with industries centralized in the city, and contains slums. As the main education center, the city is also home for students from around Indonesia.
Surabaya is an old city that has expanded over time, and its population continues to grow at approximately 1.2% per year. In recent years, more people have moved to Surabaya from nearby suburbs and villages in East Java
Ethnic Javanese people are the majority in Surabaya, with Chinese Indonesians, Indian Indonesians and ethnic Madurese being significant minorities in the city. Surabaya also has ethnic populations from other parts of Indonesia: Sundanese, Minang, Batak, Banjar, Balinese, and Bugis.
Most citizens speak a dialect of Indonesian/Javanese called Suroboyoan, a sub-dialect of the Arekan dialect. A stereotype of this dialect concerns equality and directness in speech. The usage of register is less strict than the Central Java dialect. The Suroboyoan dialect is a mixture of both Bahasa Indonesia and Javanese, also with some significant influence from foreign languages such as Madurese etc., which has formed a special dialect known as Suroboyoan. The Suroboyoan dialect is actively promoted in local media, such as in local TV shows, radio, newspapers and traditional dramas called Ludruk.
Although around 85% of citizens in Surabaya adhere to Sunni Islam, other major religions include Christianity (Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodox), of whom the majority are Roman Catholics. The influence of Hinduism is strong in basic Surabayan culture, but only a minority of the population adheres to Hinduism mostly among the ethnic Indian minority. There is also significant population of Chinese Indonesians who adhere to Buddhism and Confucianism, and a small community of Dutch Jews who adhere to Judaism.
The city had an influential role as a major Islamic center in Java during the Wali Sanga era. The prominent and honored Islamic figure in Surabaya was Sunan Ampel (Raden Rahmat). His tomb is a sacred religious site in the city and is visited by Surabayans and pilgrims from different parts of Indonesia. The largest Muslim organization in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama was established in Surabaya on 26 January 1926. Al-Akbar Mosque is the largest mosque in Surabaya.
Christianity as a whole in Surabaya is mainly practised by Chinese Indonesians as well as native Javanese, Bataks and Ambonese who attend either a Roman Catholic or Protestant church. A minority of Javanese practice at the Gereja Kejawen, a branch of native Christianity.There are around 15 churches in Surabaya, which vary in size. Gereja Katolik Kelahiran Santa Perawan Maria (The Church of The Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary), also known as Gereja Kepanjen, built in 1815 as the first church in Surabaya and one of the oldest churches in Indonesia. The main Orthodox Church in Indonesia, St Nikolas Church, is also based in Surabaya. The Orthodox Christian Center Surabaya was opened on 15 October 2008.
Once the major religion in Surabaya and across the archipelago during the Majapahit era, Hinduism played a major role on traditional Surabayan culture. Small Hindu communities still exist in Surabaya most commonly in the eastern sections of the city. Surabaya was the location of the only synagogue in Java, but it rarely obtained a minyan (quorum). The synagogue was destroyed in protests and riots related to Palestine-Israeli conflict. There is still a Jewish cemetery in the city.
Since the early 1900s, Surabaya has been one of the most important and busiest trading city ports in Asia. Principal exports from the port, include sugar, tobacco and coffee. Its rich history as a trading port has led to a strong financial infrastructure with modern economic institutions such as banks, insurance and sound export-import companies. The economy is influenced by the recent growth in foreign industries and the completion of the Suramadu Bridge. The high potential and economic activities make the city an attractive destination to foreign investors. The city is home to a large shipyard, and numerous specialized naval schools.
As the provincial capital, Surabaya has a number of offices and business centers. As a metropolitan city, Surabaya became the center of economic, financial and business activities in East Java and beyond. Also, Surabaya is the second largest port city in Indonesia after Jakarta. As a trading center, Surabaya is not only a trade center for East Java but also facilitates areas in Central Java, Kalimantan and Eastern Indonesia. Surabaya's strategic location is almost in the center of Indonesia and just south of Asia makes it one of the important hubs for trading activities in Southeast Asia. Surabaya is currently in the process of building high rise skyscrapers, including apartments, condominiums, and hotels, by way of attracting foreign capital. Surabaya and the surrounding area is undergoing the most rapidly growing economic development in East Java and one of the most advanced in Indonesia. The city is also one of the most important cities in supporting Indonesia's economy.
Most of the population is engaged in services, industry and trade. Surabaya is a fast growing trading center. Major industries include shipbuilding, heavy equipment, food processing and agriculture, electronics, home furnishings, and handicrafts. Many major multinational companies are based in Surabaya, such as PT Sampoerna Tbk, Maspion, Wing's Group, Unilever Indonesia, Pakuwon Group, Jawa Pos Group and PT PAL Indonesia.
The area in between Jalan Basuki Rachmat, Jalan Embong Malang, and Jalan Bubutan has grown as a business center and has turned into one of the main heart of business and trade activities in Surabaya. Some of the important buildings in this area include Wisma BRI Surabaya, Hotel Bumi Surabaya, Wisma Dharmala Surabaya, The Peak Residence, Sheraton Hotel etc.
Another cluster around Jalan Mayjend Sungkono, Jalan Adityawarman, Jalan HR Muhammad, and Jalan Bukit Darmo has grown as a new business center of the city. This area has now grown as one of the most rapidly growing commercial and business centers in East Java, with high rise buildings. Some of the tallest buildings in Surabaya located in this area, such as Adhiwangsa Apartment, Waterplace Residence, Puri Matahari, Beverly Park Apartment, The Via & The Vue Apartment, Ciputra World Hotel, Puncak Permai Apartment, Rich Palace Hotel, and so forth.
Surabaya has plenty of shopping centers like other major cities of Indonesia, ranging from traditional markets to most modern shopping malls. Outlets of local and international brands have presence in modern shopping malls. There are many dedicated markets for electronic goods, gadgets and computer hardware.
Some important shopping malls of the city are:
Architecture in Surabaya is a mixture of colonial, Asian, Javanese, modern, and post-modern influences. There are still many colonial era relics still standing today, such as Hotel Majapahit and Surabaya Post Office. As a relatively old city in Indonesia and Southeast Asia, most colonial buildings in Surabaya were built around the 17th century to early 20th century. These buildings have influence of Dutch / European style in the Middle Ages. Before the Second World War, there were many shop houses in the old part of the city, mostly of two storey. These shop houses have influence of European and Chinese traditions. Although some have been dismantled for new construction, there are still many old buildings that are preserved as cultural heritage and city icons, which are around the area of Kembang Jepun Street, Karet Street, Gula Street, Slompretan Street, and Rajawali Street.
After independence of Indonesia, the center of Surabaya's architectural development was concentrated only in the area of Jembatan Merah, and its surroundings. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, modern and post-modern style buildings were increasingly emerging in Surabaya. Along with the economic development, such buildings continue to grow in Surabaya until now. In the era of 2010s, Surabaya has become a region for high-rise buildings in East Java, such as The Peak Residence and One Icon Residence (200 meters).
The Eastern Fleet is headquartered here. It is one of two fleets in the Indonesian Navy. Its maritime heritage is also represented in a form of KRI Pasopati Submarine Monument, a retired Russian Whiskey class submarine.
Transportation in Surabaya is supported by land and sea infrastructure serving local, regional, and international journeys. Air transport is located at Juanda Airport, Sedati, Sidoarjo). Intracity transport is primarily by motor vehicles, motorcycles and taxis with limited public bus transport available. Surabaya is also a transit city between Jakarta and Bali for ground transportation. Another bus route is between Jakarta and the neighboring island of Madura.
Surabaya's Juanda International Airport is a passenger and cargo airport which also serves as Surabaya's Navy Airbase, operated by the TNI-AL (Indonesian Navy) and located just outside Surabaya, on the outskirts of Sidoarjo. This airport has served Surabaya for many years, and currently has 2 terminals, with domestic flights served from Terminal 1 and all international flights and Garuda Indonesia's domestic flights serviced from Terminal 2. Although considered smaller than Kuala Namu International Airport in Medan and Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali, Juanda International Airport is still regarded as Indonesia's second busiest airport right after Jakarta's Soekarno Hatta International Airport
Port of Tanjung Perak is the trading port in East Java and is one of the busiest ports in the country. It is the second largest port of trade, container and passenger in Indonesia after the Port of Tanjung Priok in Jakarta. There is also Teluk Lamong Port Terminal, which is the main buffer terminal terminal of Tanjung Perak Port. The port terminal of Lamong Bay is the first green port in Indonesia and is one of the most sophisticated port terminals in the world where the entire operating system is automated.
The city has three major train stations, being Surabaya Kota (also known as Semut), Pasar Turi, and Gubeng. Surabaya's main train station is Pasar Turi Station. The Argo Bromo Anggrek operated by PT Kereta Api (Indonesia's main rail operator) connects Surabaya from this station to Gambir Station (Jakarta). Both economy and executive class trains are served to and from Surabaya.
The main bus terminal is Terminal Purabaya (located in Bungurasih, Waru, Sidoarjo), the other major terminal is Osowilangon in Tambak, Surabaya.
There are various kinds of local transport including: taxi-cabs, shuttle bus, city bus, Angguna, pedicab and commuter trains.
GO-JEK, Uber, and Grab services are available in Surabaya.
The Suramadu Bridge (derived from Surabaya-Madura) connects Surabaya and Madura Island over the Madura Strait. A 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) highway has been proposed to be built from the Suramadu Bridge to Madura International Seaport-City in Pernajuh village, Kocah district, Bangkalan, Madura at a cost of approximately Rp. 60 billion (US$7 billion). This container port was built to ease the burden on Surabaya's overloaded Tanjung Perak Port.
The city has one football club which competes in the Liga Dua Indonesia, called Persebaya. The club has won the Indonesian Premier Division twice. Fans refer to themselves as Bonek, an abbreviation for Bondo Nekat (which translates as "equipped by bravery").
Surabaya has a multi-purpose stadium, Gelora Bung Tomo Stadium. The stadium is used mostly for football matches. It is the new home stadium of Persebaya, after replacing Gelora 10 November Stadium. On 23 July 2012, it was the venue of a match between Persebaya 1927 against Queens Park Rangers.
Surabaya has several major universities and institutions, including those with religious or technical specialties:
International schools include:
Private schools include:
As a metropolitan city all types of Indonesian cuisine and other international restaurants have presence in the city. However, as the capital of East Java, cuisines from the province dominates the culinary culture of the city. East Javanese cuisines include, variety of processed fruits, crisps temph, Bakpao telo, Bakso Malang, Rawan, Tahu campur lamongan, Cwie noodles, tahu takwa, tahu pong, and getuk pisang, pecel madiun, wingko, tape, nasi krawu, otak-otak bandeng, bonggolan, shrimp crackers, shrimp paste, and petis, Tempeh Chips, tahu tepo, and Nasi lethok, sego tempong, salad soup, and pecel rawon, Suwar-suwir, tape proll, gaplek, lodho, goat satay and pecel tulungagung.
Surabaya is famous for Rawon, Rojak cingur, Semanggi, Lontong Balap, clams satay, mussels and rice cake.
Surabaya is twinned with: