Photo: A slice of history at Kota Gede.

Kota Gede

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Kota Gede was once the seat of the powerful Islamic Mataram Sultanate. Today it’s more well known as a stop on shopping tours visiting its thriving silver industry. We have nothing against getting a bit of bling on and supporting local crafts, but think the often ignored (by tourists) historical sights and architecture in this small, interesting area are the real drawcard and worth an explore.

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The Sultanate of Mataram (not to be confused with the earlier Hindu Mataram Kingdom associated with Borobudur and Prambanan temples) was the last major independent Javanese kingdom before Dutch colonisation, ruling from the late 16th century until the early 18th century. The walled city of Kota Gede (literally ‘big city’) was the hub of this mighty empire. Within its walls are surviving ancient mosque and royal tombs, bathhouses and traditional homes.

Hints of Bali, to our untrained eye. Photo taken in or around Kota Gede, Yogyakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Hints of Bali, to our untrained eye. Photo: Sally Arnold

At the northwest corner of bustling Kota Gede market, a local landmark Babon Anim, a former Dutch electrical substation from the 1900s, marks the turn towards the historic Ndondongan area 300 metres away. We are far from architectural experts but to our untrained eye, the elements here seem much more in the style of Hindu architecture ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)

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