Photo: All shapes and sizes.

Kris Nusantara Museum

Our rating:

The relatively new Kris Nusantara Museum offers a formidable collection of krises which will appeal to both the Kris-inclined and those with just a spare hour to kill.

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Opened in August 2017 by the Indonesian President Joko Widodo (who himself hails from Solo), the modern museum spans a series of floors each dedicated to a different aspect of krises and while the collection is indeed impressive, it is very unfortunate that zero effort was made to supply even a minimal amount of sign boarding or captioning in English.

Just look for the gigantic kris. Photo taken in or around Kris Nusantara Museum, Solo, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Just look for the gigantic kris. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Friendly staff make up for this by supplying an English speaking guide for free to walk you through the entire museum (which takes roughly an hour), but this is an unfortunate oversight which detracts significantly from what could otherwise be quite a fascinating museum. As foreigners are charged double for admission, perhaps they’re planning on putting that gouge towards some translation efforts—we doubt it.

While the kris is most closely associated with Central Java (and to a lesser extent, Bali and Sulawesi), you will come across them further afield in Indonesia and also in Malaysia and Thailand. Krises can be seen in the carvings on Borobudur and Prambanan near Yogyakarta and Candi Sukuh (near Solo on the slopes of Gunung Lewa) and the earliest evidence of a kris-like item has been traced back to the Dongson period in northern Vietnam (ie., around 300BC).

All centred on Java. Photo taken in or around Kris Nusantara Museum, Solo, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

All centred on Java. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Made from layered iron, the kris is an asymmetrical dagger formed of three parts—the blade, the sheath and the hilt. These are often so ornately prepared that each part could be considered a standalone work of art—and together they often form a ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Kris Nusantara Museum
Jl Bhayangkara 2, Solo
T: (0271) 746 3997 
Admission: 15,000/20,000 rupiah for foreigners and 7,500/10,000 rupiah for Indonesians (weekday/holiday)

Location map for Kris Nusantara Museum

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