Photo: The heart and soul of Yogyakarta.

Kraton (Sultan’s Palace)

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For the people of Yogyakarta, the Kraton, or Sultan’s Palace, has been the cultural (and mystical) heart and soul of the city since the mid-1700s.

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For the casual tourist, however, it can seem a little unimpressive. The treasures are poorly displayed and little information is forthcoming, which is a pity as it truly is a fascinating place if you delve deeper. To avoid feeing disenchanted, it’s worthwhile employing the services of a guide for some interesting explanations of the symbolism here as well as the history. Your admission includes this service (you may have to ask), however it’s customary to tip (an additional 25,000 to 50,000 rupiah would be fair).

So much history within these walls. Photo taken in or around Kraton (Sultan’s Palace), Yogyakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

So much history within these walls. Photo: Sally Arnold

The Kraton is a physical representation of the Javanese Cosmos, charged with the divine forces of the universe. Every detail, tree and pavilion has mystical meaning, and if you take a moment you can just, perhaps, feel a little spark in the air. Built on a north-south axis, the Kraton faces sacred Mount Merapi, and backs the ocean, home of the Sultan’s mystical consort Kanjeng Ratu Loro Kidul (the Queen of the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)

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