Monday, February 01, 2016

Sultan's Palace, Yogyakarta

The morning after the Wayang Puppet Show, I went to see the Sultan's Palace, otherwise known as the Kraton. It is essentially a walled city, with a population of around 25,000, complete with its own mosque, shops, schools, and more. The fa├žade of this building read 1925, the date when some European touches were added, but the innermost section where the sultan still resides dates back to 1755. 

This grand complex, with its spacious halls, beautiful pavilions, smooth marble floors, and decorative symbolic touches, is considered the epitome of Javanese architecture. 

I especially loved this pavilion, with its music-themed Dutch stained glass and pretty flooring.

The lavish ceiling decorations and chandeliers reminded me of the Chow Mohalla in Hyderabad, India. Both palaces were an interesting combination of European and local elements, with grand imported chandeliers.

 Our palace guide shared with us (in her very thick Indonesian accent) some of the symbolism that abounds in almost everything in the palace - from the trees and flowers all the way down to the decorations. From the image above, the date of that building's renovation could be determined (1 = crown on the serpent's head, 8 = serpent, 5 = giant, 3 = leech).
More beautiful Dutch stained glass and some ornamental teak columns
Many of the buildings we saw were made into a museum holding furniture, clothing, puppets, family photos, gifts to the sultan, and other collections of the ruler.

Over 1,000 residents are employed at the Kraton. 

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