As the former capital of Indonesia and the cradle of Javanese culture, Yogyakarta is a must-see during your travels in Indonesia. The Kraton or Royal Palace is the main attraction of the city. Part of the palace compound is occupied by the royal family while a large part is open to visitors interested in Javanese history and culture.
The Kraton dates back to 1755 following the split of theMataram Kingdom. As per the Treaty ofGiyanti, Paku Buwono settled in Surakarta while his half-brother Mangkubumi built his palace in Yogyakarta and took the title of Sultan Hamengku Buwono I. The palace was built in accordance with the Javanese cosmology.
On June 21st 1812, Thomas Bingley Raffles, a British statesman, lead an attack against the kingdom in order to subjugate it to British rule. Although the Javanese were more numerous than the invader, they were not prepared for a battle. In one day, the city was taken and the palace was burned and looted by British troops.
The Kraton constitutes a living part of history. While serving as the Sultan’s family residence the complex is still used for major cultural and traditional ceremonies.
It is one of the most beautiful palaces in Indonesia. Its rich ornaments reflect the kingdom’s wealth and power. In the reception hall, Bangsal Kencana also called golden pavilion, you see magnificent marble furniture and Dutch-style stained-glass windows. An amazing collection of historical and ceremonial artifacts is displayed in the museum.
You also find a number of documents, photographs and objects depicting the Sultan’s daily life including the extraordinary royal family trees. Dance performances and gamelan concerts are regularly held.
How to get there
The Kraton is located at the south end of Malioboro street. Easy to go by foot or bycicle from almost any hotel. Otherwise you can take a taxi, becak or .
Open every day from 8am to 2pm except Friday 8am to noon. The entrance fee is Rp12,500 or Rp15,000 for guided tour. A little extra is required for camera.