PALACE OF THE KING KERATON NGAYOGYAKARTA
I got off the Trans Jogja bus at the bus stop in front of the Fort Vredeburg Museum.
There are several options for reaching the sultan’s palace. Whether by taking a becak / bektor (= pedicab with a motorbike) or walking.
I chose to walk from Malioboro Street to the Yogyakarta Palace. A kind old lady I met on the bus also suggested walking.
Even though it was still morning the sun was hot. I exhausted after 5 minutes walking. But I kept walking in the hope that once inside the Palace, I could walk between the shade and the buildings.
Yogyakarta Palace is a palace complex in the city of Yogyakarta.
The word Keraton is a quarter of the royal family in the palace. This shortens the form of queen/Ka-ratuan which comes from the word Ratu, which in Bahasa means king. Keraton is a palace that has religious, philosophical and cultural meaning.
In 1755, the Giyanti Treaty divided the kingdom of Mataram into the Surakarta Sultanate under the rule of Sunan Pakubuwono III and the Ngayogyakarta Sultanate under the rule of Prince Mangkubumi who later became Sultan Hamengkubuwono I.
The Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate Palace, better known as the Yogyakarta Palace, is the center of the development Javanese culture.
Until now the Yogyakarta Palace is still residence of the King of Yogyakarta, Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X with his family.
The area of Yogyakarta Palace is 14,000 square meters. Inside there are many buildings, courtyards, and fields. The front yard of the Palace is in the form of Yogyakarta’s North Square and the backyard of the Palace in the form of Yogyakarta’s South Square.
Banyan forests protected from floods chosen as places for the new palace. The palace complex located between the Code River and the Winanga River, from north to south.
After the signing of the Giyanti Treaty Sultan Hamengkubuwono I built the Yogyakarta Sultanate between 1755 and 1756. Besides the first Sultan, Sultan Hamengkubuwono I, he was also the chief architect of this palace.
There are so many interesting things when visiting the Sultan’s Palace, ranging from magnificent buildings with Javanese nuances, various collections of kings and their families, performing arts to the lives of courtiers.
Each main complex consists of a sand-covered courtyard from the south coast.
In each complex, there is a building called Joglo. If without a wall, the building called bangsal. While joglo within a wall called gedhong (building).
Some ornaments with motifs of flora, fauna, or nature are often found in this architectural work. In some parts, visible touches of foreign cultures such as Portuguese, Dutch, even the Chinese.
Building poles are usually dark green or black with yellow, light green, red and gold ornaments or other. Other parts of the building made of wood have matching colors with the colors on the poles. Floors are usually made of white marble or patterned tiles and higher than the sandy yard.
The building used by the Sultan has more intricate and beautiful ornamental details than the class below. The lower class of the building has simple ornaments or none at all.
In addition to ornaments, the building for lower class can also be seen from the material and shape of the part or the building itself.
In the Yogyakarta Palace complex, there are various showrooms of ancient objects. It stored in glass cabinets such as ceramics, paintings, miniatures or replicas, photographs, weapons and personal objects of the king.
Another showroom is the Batik Museum which inaugurated by Sri Sultan HB X in 2005. As the name implies, this museum filled with collection of batik and equipment used in batik during Sultan HB VIII’s leadership to Sultan HB X. Inside the museum there are also objects which gifts and donation from a number of batik entrepreneurs in Yogyakarta and from other regions.
Interestingly in the museum there is an ancient well full of money (coins and paper). However the old well covered with aluminum gauze with a placard “visitors prohibited from throwing money”.
Many relics in the palace store historical stories useful for research purposes. In addition, as a source of knowledge for the next generation.
In addition to witnessing collections of objects belonging to the royal family, tourists who visit the Kraton Yogyakarta can also watch various art performances such as macapat (traditional Javanese poetry or song), gamelan, wayang orang, puppet shows, and Serimpi dance held at Manganti Ward.
Traditional ceremonies are routinely carried out to preserve ancestral cultures such as bathing royal heirlooms and carts. Similarly, Garebeg or Grebeg is also held. Periodic ceremonies held by Javanese to commemorate an important event such as Grebeg Maulud.
I did not plan to go to another place after my visit to the Palace. In theory, visitors can go around the palace for at least 2-3 hours. However, I preferred to walk slowly from one building to another. Sometimes I went back to the same place, just to take some photos.
After walking all day I wanted to sit, relaxed and bought a bottle of water. Coincidently when I headed to the bus stop, I passed a young coconut seller. It’s a relief for a tired body to sit under a banyan tree accompanied by fresh, cold young coconuts. I enjoyed my time while watching tourists passed by and local people lived their daily lives.
This post is also available in: Indonesian