The Kraton - Sultan Palace
The palace of Yogyakarta, known as the Keraton (also spelled kraton or karaton), is a grand complex that was meticulously planned to reflect the Javanese cosmos. This splendid example of traditional Javanese architecture has no equal. Designed and built in stages, the Keraton was completed in 1790.
This elegant complex of pavilions was constructed entirely on ancient beliefs and each feature of the complex, from the courtyards to the trees, has a special symbolic meaning related to sophisticated Javanese philosophy.
The Keraton is built facing directly north towards the majestic Mt. Merapi with to its south backing the Indian Ocean which is believed to be the abode of Nyi Loro Kidul, the Queen of the South Seas and the mystical consort of the Sultan. Malioboro road was originally used as the ceremonial route, not unlike London’s Pall Mall, and forms a straight line drawn from the Sultan’s palace to the Merapi volcano.
A green square called alun-alun fronting the palace, has a large banyan tree in its center, while behind the palace is another similar square. When a sultan dies, the cortege leaves by the southern gate on its way to the cemetery of kings at Imogiri.
This palace was designed to be more than just a royal residence. It was built to be a focal point of the Sultan’s entire kingdom. Today, the Keraton is a piece of living history and tradition. It continues to be used, both as a home of the Sultan as well as for other important ceremonial and cultural functions of the Yogya court.
The present Sultan Hamengku Buwono X of Yogyakarta retains the title of Sultan although Yogya has become one of the provinces of the Republic of Indonesia. The Sultan of Yogya,is also the governor of the province, and is still considered the cultural head of this region, and is greatly loved by his subjects.
Even with Yogya’s modernization, the Keraton of Yogya continues to be respected by the people of Yogya, steeped as it is in mysticism and philosophy. In the afternoons, after the palace is closed to visitors, women in traditional costume can be seen respectfully sprinkling water and flowers on the pillars, lighting incense to “cleanse” the keraton from evil spirits.
Shop Till You Drop in Malioboro Street
Malioboro is the most famous street in Yogyakarta. Located in the heart of Yogya, this is the city’s main street, and was once the ceremonial avenue for the Sultan to pass through on his way to and from the Keraton. During such occasions Malioboro would be festively decorated with flowers. Some say that the name Malioboro” derives from the name of the British governor Marlborough from the era when Britain ruled the archipelago, between 1811-1816.
Near the north gate of the Keraton or palace are grand Dutch colonial buildings that are now the Central Post Office and the Bank Dagang Negara. Walking further north is the well laid out State Guest House, which was once the home of the Dutch Resident, but which after Independence became the presidential palace when Yogya was the capital of the young Republic. President Soekarno stayed here between 1946-1949.
Across the road is the Vredenburg fort, which used to be the barracks of Dutch soldiers and is now a center for arts and painting exhibitions.
On the same side of the road is Beringharjo market, Yogya’s crowded main market, where you can buy batik and souvenirs at cheap prices.
On Malioboro you will also find Yogyakarta’s oldest hotel, the Garuda Hotel, built in Dutch colonial architecture.
While steeped in history, today, Malioboro is the place to come to shop. It packed with shops selling curiosities, and street vendors offering souvenirs at affordable prices, so you’re bound to find something of interest in this street.
If you’re after some batik to take home as a souvenir, then Malioboro is the right place for you. From house dresses to formal batik wear, this street has them all. Batik can also be made into bags, table cloths, bed sheets, pillow covers, curtains, and a whole lot more.
The Tantalizing Water Castle
When a traveler is browsing in Kraton, then she/he should not miss The Water Castle or known as Tamansari, less than 1 Km west of Kraton. Just west of the Kraton, are the ruins, pools, arches and underground passages of the former pleasure gardens. It was built in 1758 by Sultan Hamengkubuwono I as a rest house and pleasure park for the Royal family. Tamansari means beautiful garden. It was badly damaged due to an earthquake in 1867. Some parts of it, for instance "Umbul Binangun" bathing pools have been restored.
Upon seeing the ruins of Taman Sari, some cultural experts say that it has multi purposed functions, such as:
1. A Rest house, in the form of water castle with beautiful park. The air is fresh due to: Artificial lakes and canals Bathing pools Large gardens with several kind of varieties of trees
2. A place for sport and entertainment Boating and swimming, Deer hunting, Classical dance Bedoyo and Srimpi, Gamelan music
3. A place for meditation
4. An important palace and shelter for the Sultan. It was well protected. It had 2 Bastions with 12 and 6 Cannons.
The Castle itself divided into two (2) complexes. They are:
1. Umbul Binangun - swimming pool complex
It is the swimming pool where only the Sultans women can frolic. In this complex only woman employees serve the Sultan. Theres also a three story tower, with Sultan private bedroom stands south of the swimming pool and The Sultans private bath-pool is behind the tower. Somewhere in the south part of the palace, there is a special place, believed to be Sultans meeting place, from time to time with the Goddess of the South Sea, Kanjeng Ratu Kidul.
2. Pulo Kenongo - Complex
Pulo Kenongo, the Palace of Kenongo Island was found in the middle of Segaran Taman Sari. (Taman Sari artificial lake, which was connected by water canal to the other artificial lake nearby the kraton) Kenongo is a name of flower trees planted in the front yard, where the fragrance spread out in the palace. Just like in a palace, there were living rooms, bedrooms, rooms to make Batik, a hall to perform classical sacred dance of Bedoyo and Srimpi, gates and sentry-boxes guarded strongly by the palace soldiers.
Imogiri, the official cemetery of the royal descendents from Yogyakarta and Surakarta, is about 17 km southeast of Yogyakarta and easily accessible by the bus or car. The tombs lie within three main courtyards perched on a hilltop. Entry into the smaller courtyards housing the tombs of the princes is allowed only by visitors wearing traditional Javanese dress. Open on Monday 09.00 am to 12.00 pm and Friday 13.00 pm to 16.00 pm The cemetery is closed during the Moslem month of Ramadhan.
Kaliurang Resort: A Mountain Retreat
If you want to take a break from crowds and cities and immerse yourself in some natural beauty, then Kaliurang resort may be the place for you. Lying on the southern slopes of the majestic Mt Merapi, the quiet highland resort of Kaliurang is a peaceful escape from the heat and chaos of city life. This is a place to come to relax and rejuvenate and be energized by the fresh air. Visitors can spend days here unwinding, swimming and exploring. Kaliurang is famous for its green mountain scenery, forest air and adventurous hiking tracks.
Kota Gede : Home of The Silversmiths
Kota Gede was the original site where Panembahan Senopati, founder of the new Mataram kingdom established his palace in 1575. The new Mataram kingdom claims direct descent from the ancient Mataram rulers who built the mighty Borobudur and Prambanan temples. In the year 1680 Kota Gede was ransacked by troops from Madura, and the palace of Mataram shifted east, first to Kartasura, then to its present location on the banks of the Solo river, at Surakarta (Solo).
Today, Kota Gede is a suburb of the city of Yogyakarta. The town is a maze of narrow streets, lined with tiny, traditional silversmith shops and mosaic-tiled houses, once the homes of the aristocracy and royal merchants. Kota Gede is a great place to come and take a slow wander round. For those who like to shop, come here and browse (or maybe buy) some handcrafted silver. Take in the surrounds of the quaint buildings that years ago, were the homes of wealthy Arab and Dutch merchants. Find out whether you can visit one of these houses and be transported back in time.
This precinct is now most famous as the centre of Yogya’s silver industry. There are a number of workshops where visitors can stop by and watch silversmiths at work and see the remarkable way they can transform a piece of silver into a beautiful work of art.
Yogya silver distinguishes itself by its embossment and contrasting black on white silver. The best are made of sterling silver. Kota Gede produces beautiful silver tea sets, bracelets and necklaces and fine filigree brooches.
The Royal Cemetery of Kota Gede, is a site of ancient grandeur and reflects the cultural heritage of this region. Javanese dress is required to enter the cemetery and can be hired at the registration post. As there are Mataram kings buried here this is a holy site and pilgrims from all over Java still come here to pay their respects, burn incense and ask for blessings.
The Edge of A Volcano at Mount Merapi
Living in the shadows of an active volcano is like sitting on a time bomb, especially when one of them is called the Fire Mountain or Gunung Merapi, the volcano that dominates the center of the island of Java. Mt Merapi, located near Yogyakarta, is one of the most active volcanoes on earth. It is one of some 500 volcanoes in Indonesia, from which at least 129 are active, aptly giving this archipelago the name: the Ring of Fire.
Despite its frequent eruptions, Mt. Merapi is very central to the lives of the Javanese people and kings. For through its eruptions Merapi spews lava, ash and minerals to the surrounding areas. These provide nutrients for the soil, making this one of the most fertile areas in the world, and consequently the most densely populated. This majestic, perfectly cone-shaped volcano, with its peak at 2,911 meters above sea level, has also determined the lives of kings and realms. In the early 11th Century, the once mighty ancient empire of Mataram mysteriously disappeared, and power suddenly shifted to East Java. Scientists surmise that a violent eruption of Merapi in 1006 AD was the ruin of the empire.
This massive eruption also buried the nearby Borobudur temple in ash. More recently in the 20th century, a destructive eruption in 1930 claimed 1300 lives. Today Merapi still erupts intermittently, but the people here have befriended the mountain and accept its rumblings and coughs as part of normal natural phenomena.
The Merapi volcano plays an important part in the accepted cosmos of the Javanese sultans. The Keraton of Yogyakarta faces the mountain in one direct line. Merapi is also guarded by spiritual “guards” who give offerings to the mountain.
Local people respect the awesome power of this volcano. Annually, on the anniversary of the Sultan’s coronation, offerings (labuhan) are brought from the keraton of Yogya to Mt. Merapi , together with similar offerings carried to the Indian Ocean to the south, to appease the spirits of the mountain and the sea, in order to bring welfare to the inhabitants of Java.
Merapi is continuously monitored by a number of earthquake posts, who warn inhabitants of impending eruptions. Despite frequently giving out smoke, the mountain still attracts hikers and climbers.
Parang Tritis Beach
Parang Tritis Beach. A popular seaside resort 28 kms south of Yogyakarta on the Indian Ocean, Parang Tritis combines rocky hills, dunes, and a white sandy beach. It is famous in Javanese mythology as the home of the Goddess of the South Seas, who was married to Panembahan Senopati, founder of the Mataram Kingdom. Every year the sultans of Yogyakarta make special offerings to her in a beachside ceremony called “Labuhan”.
Articel took from Indonesia minister tourism official
|Indonesia Islands and Travel Destinations
Yogyakarta Places To Visit - Jogja Travel Destinations
□ Kraton - Sultan Palace
□ Taman Sari
□ Kota Gede
□ Mount Merapi
□ Benteng Vrendeburg
□ Tugu Jogja
□ Monumen Jogja Kembali
□ Prambanan Temple
□ Ratu Boko Temple
□ Alun Alun
□ Bringharjo Market
Yogyakarta Excurtions - Jogja Activities and Attractions
□ Ramayana Dance
□ Meeting and Convention
□ Becak Riding
□ Pottery Making