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Tanah Java Palace | 10 Influential Sultanates in Java

Javanese palace

The Tanah Java Palace has a cultural and historic history, starting from Yogyakarta, Surakarta, to Cirebon, see the list below!

Estimated reading time: 11 minutes


Land of Java Palace – Tracing Indonesian history through the most popular palace buildings in Indonesia.

Indonesia is a country with a long history and diverse culture. Indonesia was a collection of kingdoms or palaces long before independence.

Some of the buildings of the Tanah Java Palace remain sturdy and majestic today, paying tribute to the history and culture of the State. The various buildings of the Tanah Java Palace are now popular historical and cultural tourist destinations.

If you want to get closer to the historical and cultural heritage of Indonesian kingdoms or palaces, here are several choices of palace destinations you can visit!

Land of Java Palace

1. Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace

Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace, often known as “Yogyakarta palace” is one of the most famous palace buildings in Indonesia. This palace building in Yogyakarta, Indonesia is the official palace of the Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate and is located in the city center.

Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Palace
Source: Wikipedia

The palace area in Yogyakarta, Indonesia has an area of ​​144 hectares, including the entire area inside the Baluwarti fort, Lor square, Kidul square, Gladag gate and the Gedhe Mosque complex.

Meanwhile, the main palace building, also called "kedhaton", has an area of ​​up to 13 hectares. Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana I built this palace in Indonesia in 1755, following the separation of the Islamic Mataram Kingdom marked by the Giyanti Agreement.

Even though it is still used as the residence of the sultan and the royal household, part of the palace complex functions as a museum which stores various imperial treasures such as mementos from European kings, replicas of palace antiques, and even gamelan.

From an architectural perspective, this influential Sultanate is believed to be the best example of Javanese palace architecture and is still very well preserved today.

Location: Jl. Rotowijayan Block No. 1, Panembahan, Kraton District, Yogyakarta City, Yogyakarta Special Region

2. Surakarta Hadiningrat Palace

The official palace of Kasunanan Surakarta Hadiningrat located in Surakarta is the next palace building in Indonesia.

Founded around 1743-1744 by Sri Susuhunan Pakubuwana II, the architecture of the Tanah Java Palace building is similar to other palace buildings in Indonesia.

It is not surprising considering that Prince Mangkubumi, who later reigned as Sultan of the Yogyakarta Sultanate with the title Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwana I, built this palace.

In Indonesia, the majority of royal buildings are white and blue, with mixed Javanese-European architecture. To this day, the Tanah Java Palace is an important center of Javanese culture.

Location: Jl. Kamandungan, Baluwarti, District. Ps. Kliwon, Surakarta City, Central Java 57144

3. Kasepuhan Palace

The next influential sultanate was the Kasepuhan Palace, in ancient times known as the Pakungwati Palace, which was a Javanese Land Palace building which functioned as the center of government of the Cirebon Sultanate.

Kasepuhan Palace
Source: Unsplash

This palace building in Indonesia, which is located in Kesepuhan sub-district, Lemahwungkuk, Cirebon, is estimated to have been built in 1430. This royal building in Indonesia is still very well preserved in terms of its architecture.

This palace is a museum that stores various kinds of heirlooms and works of art from the Cirebon Sultanate period which are quite complete, one of which is the Singa Barong Train which is the golden chariot of Sunan Gunung Jati.

The Tanah Java Palace is one of the most popular historical tourist destinations in Cirebon. Even though it is no longer operational, this train is still preserved and well maintained, and is only taken out to be washed every 1 Shawwal.

Location: Jl. Kasepuhan No.43, Kesepuhan, Kec. Lemahwungkuk, Cirebon City, West Java 45114

4. Kanoman Palace

Still in Cirebon, the Kanoman Palace and the Kasepuhan Palace are one of the two buildings of the Cirebon Sultanate. In 1678, Prince Mohamad Badridin or Prince Kertawijaya, whose title was Sultan Anom I, founded this palace building in Indonesia.

Standing on an area of ​​approximately 6 hectares, the Tanah Java Palace building has historical treasures that are closely related to the preaching of Islam by Sunan Gunung Jati or known as Syarif Hidayatullah, one of the historical figures "Wali Songo".

Among them are two trains named Paksi Naga Liman and Jempana which are still in good condition and are kept in the museum complex of the Tanah Java Palace.

Location: Jl. Kanoman No. 40, Lemahwungkuk, Kec. Lemahwungkuk, Cirebon City, West Java 45111

5. Mangkunegaran Temple

The next Javanese Land Palace building is the Mangkunegaran Temple which is located in Keprabon Village, Banjarsari District, Surakarta. It is the official palace of the Duchy of Mangkunegaran as well as the home of the Duke of Mangkunegara.

Mangkunegara I built this palace building in Indonesia in 1757, with the architecture following the style of palace buildings in the Central Java region with a slight touch of European architectural style.

This is demonstrated by the use of a "gable", namely a roof structure consisting of two roof areas facing opposite directions, and a "dormer", namely windows or ventilation installed on the roof of the entire Mangkunegaran Temple building.

Apart from that, there are European architectural ornaments such as angel reliefs, stained glass, chandeliers and other decorations. This palace building in Indonesia has an important history, because it was built after the Salatiga Agreement which initiated the establishment of the Mangkunegaran Duchy.

Location: Jl. Ronggowarsito, Keprabon, District. Banjarsari, Surakarta City, Central Java 57131

6. Sumenep Palace

The next influential sultanate was the Sumenep Palace, a palace building that functioned as the official residence of the dukes or kings, as well as the place where the dukes supervised the government of the Sumenep Kingdom.

Even though it is not as big as previous royal buildings in Indonesia, the architecture of the Sumenep palace is no less unique and ancient. The Tanah Java Palace was built in 1781 on private land belonging to Panembahan Somala, King of Sumenep XXXI, and designed by architect “Lauw Piango”, a local resident of Chinese descent.

Location: Jl. Dr. Sutomo No.6, Delama Environment, Pajagalan, Kec. Sumenep City, Sumenep Regency, East Java 69416

7. Kaibon Palace

Kaibon Palace is about one mile from the Great Mosque of Banten. The name Kaibon, which means "mother", was apparently created for his mother, Queen Aisyah, by Sultan Syafiudin, the 21st Sultan of Banten.

It was founded at the beginning of the nineteenth century on a plot of land measuring 15.000 square meters. After Sultan Syarifudin opposed the Daendel government to continue construction of the Anyer-Panarukan highway, the area was partitioned according to orders from Dutch Governor General Daendels in 1813.

The only remaining parts that convey the truth about the Sultanate of Banten are the ancient walls, foundations, entrance and main gate.

Location: Kasunyatan, 42191 Kesemen, Serang, Indonesia, Kasunyatan, Kasemen, Serang City, Banten 42191

8. Kacirebonan Palace

Kacirebonan Palace is another Javanese Land Palace building that you can visit when visiting Cirebon. It is located about 1 km southwest of Kasepuhan Palace and about 500 meters south of Kanoman Palace.

Different from the two previous developments of the Tanah Java Palace, the architecture of the Kacirebonan Palace, which was inaugurated in 1808, was heavily influenced by Chinese and European culture.

The Tanah Java Palace building, together with the Kasepuhan Palace, Kanoman Palace, and Kacirebonan, is the main object and cultural asset that is protected as the residence of the Kacirebonan sultan.

This palace building in Indonesia not only has valuable architecture, but also has historical relics such as Keris, Wayang, war equipment, gamelan, and others.

Location: Jl. Pulasaren, RT.4/RW.2, Pulasaren, Kec. Pekalipan, Cirebon City, West Java 45116

9. Pakualaman Duchy

From 1813 to 1950, Pakualaman Palace served as the official residence of the Princes of Paku Alaman. When compared with the Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat Sultanate, this palace is relatively simple.

When Sultan Hamengku Buwono II met with Lieutenant Governor General Raffles and Crawfurd in the palace pavilion which was still intact after the British attack, the establishment of this palace began.

At the conference, Raffles declared the annexation of Kedu and a third of the eastern province of Yogyakarta (mancanegara) as payment for the costs of recent British military operations, including palace valuables looted by the army.

Apart from that, Raffles announced the inauguration of Notokusumo as Prince Merdeka or Paku Alam I. However, due to the difficulty of mapping the boundaries of the land that would be given to the Sultan's land, this was not accompanied by control of the Paku Alam land in the year of this case.

Another reason is that the majority of Paku Alam locations were previously in the British-controlled Kedu area. Notokusumo's appointment as Paku Alam was a tribute to British impartiality in the palace invasion and also a sign of friendship between Raffles and Notokusumo.

Location: Jl. Sultan Agung Kel. Purwokinanti District. Pakualaman District. Yogyakarta City

Let's read about other destinations:

10. Sumedang Ban

The Sumedang Larang Kingdom was an Islamic kingdom in Sumedang Regency, West Java.

Prabu Tajimalela, a descendant of King Wretikandayun from the Galuh Kingdom, formed this kingdom in the former Tembong Agung Kingdom in 721 AD. This kingdom was known as the Himbar Buana Kingdom until it changed its name to Sumedang Larang.

Location: Kotakulon, District. Sumedang Sel., Sumedang Regency, West Java 45311

Apart from its historical value, as well as the reflection of authentic Indonesian culture which is still preserved in the architectural form of the buildings, the various Javanese Land Palace buildings mentioned above are certainly no less interesting than other palaces in the world, aren't they? Don't forget to put it on your bucket list if you like historical holidays!

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