Friday, December 24, 2010

The Sultan of Yogyakarta Palace

One of the highlights of our excursion to Yogyakarta was the Keraton Yogyakarta Hadiningrat (The Sultan of Yogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace), the official residence of the Sultan of Yogyakarta.

This palace was constructed in 1755 by the Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I (the first Sultan of Yogyakarta) a few months after the signing of The Treaty of Giyanti which divided the old Javanese Sultanate of Mataram into two separate kingdoms, namely Kasunanan Surakarta in the east and the Sultanate of Yogyakarta Hadiningrat in the west, and effectively ended the full sovereignty of Mataram. (The treaty effectively made the new kingdoms as the vassal states under the Dutch East India Company or Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie [VOC] in Dutch).

The palace has seven main complexes, namely Siti Hinggil Ler (the Northern Royal Reception Hall), Kamandhungan Ler (the Nothern Kamandhungan), Sri Manganti, Kedhaton, Kamagangan, Kamandhungan Kidul (The Southern Kamandhungan), and Siti Hinggil Kidul (the Southern Royal Reception Hall). Each of these complexes along with their geographical orientation has very deep philosophical and symbolic meanings that are too difficult to explain in this very short commentary. The whole palace ground was indeed considered sacred and full of mysticism and only a small part of it used to be acessible to the public. Only under the current sultan, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, has more of it been made accesssible to the public.

Anyway, here are some of the pictures that I took from the palace ground:

The intricate carved ornaments of the roof of Gedhong Kaca - one of the newest buildings in the palace ground dedicated as the Museum of the late Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX, an Indonesian national hero.

A gazebo in the palace garden used for the royal musicians and dancers to wait for their turn to perform in one of the halls.

A European style statue and stain glass ornaments at doorway of the Keputran (prince quarters).

One of the heirloom halls.

An abdi dalem (court rervant?) passing the gate into the main palace ground. All abdi dalem don't (are not allowed to) wear footwear on the palace ground. He's carrying a keris on his back.

Some abdi dalem sitting in front of their offices in the palace ground.

A senior abdi dalem reading the a babad (a book of historical accounts) in one of the main halls.


jeannette said...

Beautiful, beautiful pics, Eki!
Is there still a sultan living in the palaces now? And is he solvent to take care of the upkeep of the buildings up?

Eki said...

Thanks, Jeannette. Yes, the tenth sultan is still living there and his family. I think he's solvent enough. He owns businesses.

Photo Cache said...

How opulent! Wow to be living under such beautiful surroundings/roof.

Happy New Year. Health and happiness to you and yours.

Leif Hagen said...

What a fancy, dazzling palace! It must have been lots of fun to visit it!
Happy New Year to you and yours

Dina said...

Wow, it is such a whole different world. Beautiful.
I had no idea there are still sultans.