Semarang (pronounced [səˈmaraŋ]) is a city on the north coast of the island of Java, Indonesia. It is the capital and largest city of the province of Central Java.
It has an area of 373.78 square kilometres (144.32sqmi) and a population of approximately 1,56 million people, making it Indonesia's sixth most populous city and the fifth largest Indonesian city after Jakarta, Surabaya, Bandung, and Medan. The built-up (metro) area had 3,183,516 inhabitants at the 2010 census spread on 2 cities and 26 districts. Greater Semarang (aka Kedungsapur) has a population of close to 6 million (see Greater Semarang section), and is located at 6°58′S110°25′E / 6.967°S 110.417°E / -6.967; 110.417. A major port during the Dutch colonial era, and still an important regional center and port today, the city has a dominant Javanese population.
In 1678, Sunan Amangkurat II promised to give control of Semarang to the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a part of a debt payment. In 1682, the Semarang state was founded by the Dutch colonial power. On 5 October 1705 after years of occupations, Semarang officially became a VOC city when Susuhunan Pakubuwono I made a deal to give extensive trade rights to the VOC in exchange of wiping out Mataram's debt. The VOC, and later, the Dutch East Indies government, established tobacco plantations in the region and built roads and railroads, making Semarang an important colonial trading centre.