Keraton Yogyakarta - Preserves the Existence of Javanese Culture .
Yogjakarta is a historical city in Central Java as well as the capital city of Yogjakarta Special Area. Yes, Yogjakarta has been given an exception among few other provinces in the country as a Special Area due to its historical role and position when this kingdom united with Indonesian Republic.
As a special area, Yogyakarta is culturally, traditionally, and administratively lead by Sultan Hamengku Buwono as the King of the Ngayogyakarto Sultanate as well as the Governor and Pakualam as the Vice Governor of Yogyakarta Special Area.
As a king, Sultan Hamengku Buwono lives in a palace which is in Javanese called Keraton.
Unique Ancestry of Yogjakarta .
Yogyakarta Sultanate had inherited two generations of Mataram Kingdoms : Old Mataram which passed on Hindu relics and Modern Mataram which brought Islam to the people of Yogyakarta.
The Old Mataram was established in 8th century with Sanjaya as the first king. King Sanjaya embraced Hinduism and erected some phenomenal constructions including Candi Perambanan (Perambanan Temples) which can still elegantly be found today in Perambanan area, around 20 km from Yogyakarta city.
Another famous Mataram King who gained big name due to his success in taking Mataram into prosperous era was King Syailendra. King Syailendra had different background that he was a disciple of Budhism, this fact had given strong influence to him and one monument which was built during the rule of Syailendra dynasty was Borobudur temple, one of the biggest and stunning temple in the world so that it's declared as the world's heritage by UNESCO.
As a place for worships, Borobudur has a distinctive character from Hindu temples that it has many stupas at many parts or the temple and inside every stupa there is a statue of Budha stays in meditating position.
Another ancestor of Yogyakarta dynasty is Sultanate of Moslem Mataram. Moslem Mataram began to rule in 17th century under the king Sutawijaya or was also known as Panembahan Senapati who still had biological connection with a king from Majapahit Kingdom, a big ruling kingdom in East Java in the era of old Mataram.
In its historical development, Under the King Pakubuwana III, Mataram was segregated into two regions : Yogyakarta Sultanate and Kasunanan Surakarta on February 13, 1755. This segregation was known as Treaty of Giyanti (The place where the agreement was made) and it brought consequence to separated administration with Yogyakarta Sultanate domiciled in Yogyakarta area while Kasunanan Surakarta occupied Solo or previously known as Surakarta area.
Prince Mangkubumi became the first Sultan (King) of Yogyakarta with the title Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I.
The leadership under the clan Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono has been proceeding in Yogyakarta Sultanate until now with Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X currently holds the throne. Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X besides his position as the King of Yogyakarta, he is also the Head Of Yogyakarta Special Region or The Governor of Yogyakarta.
Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono lives and carries out his duty in the Palace called Keraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat located at the downtown of Yogyakarta city.
As it has been mentioned before, people of Yogyakarta had done a lot of meritorious actions for the country and the climax was that when The Kingdom of Yogjakarta decided to merge with the Republic of Indonesia on August 19, 1945, just two days after this country declared its independence to join United Republic of Indonesia.
A heroic struggle against the colonialists in 1949 and nationally acknowledged as General Attack of March 1st was another proof of their role in the nation's formation. This attack had opened eyes of the world about the existence of Indonesian Army and brought stronger recognition on our independence. Yogyakartan once also donated money for the struggle and made Yogyakarta as a temporary capital city of Indonesia during revolution time.
Keraton is the palace where Sultan Hamengku Buwono and his family live and the Office where Sultan carries out his role as the governor of Yogyakarta.
As the beneficiary of Javanese cultures, Keraton preserves dearly Javanese values including implementing them inside and outside Keraton life. Name of streets mostly use javanese letters besides roman letters. Traditional transports like andong (horse drawn vehicle) and becak (three wheeled pedicab) still have their rights to operate in Yogyakarta streets and become icons which attract many people to come.
To introduce outer part of the world to Keraton, Keraton is open for public (except the private area where the Sultan and his family live). Moreover, visitors are also possible to try all kind of traditional food, snacks and drinks that are consumed by the royal family and can be ordered from a restaurant which's located inside the Keraton area.
Celebration and ceremonies which are related with Javanese and Islamic traditions are regularly held in the city.
Sekaten which celebrates the birth of Prophet Muhammad is one of the oldest festivities. In this celebration, carnival is held and Keraton plays its two sets of sacred gamelans (Javanese musical instruments) at the same time for the whole week and as the top and closing event all Yogyakartans and tourists will gather in the city to take part in Grebeg Muludan,the most awaited moment when all people compete to get various food spread out by the organizer. To make the occasion more festive, a variety of shows also take part during the program which the organizations are centralized at Yogyakarta northern city square.
It's also a Place for Handy Crafts Shopping Spree.
Javanese, Yogyakartans belong to artistic people and many famous artists come from this area.Many national and international artists like Affandi, Raden Saleh, Ronggowarsito are among well known artists and poet who were born in Central Java.
In accordance with the conservation of Javanese arts, music and dances, Yogyakarta also facilitates students with higher education in those fields, they can go to Institute Seni Indonesia Yogyakarta (Indonesia Institute of the Art, Yogyakarta) to study visual arts, art performances, and media arts which attract, not only local students, but also a lot of foreign students.
Many people with artistic talents run in their blood have made Yogyakarta a heaven for handy crafts shopping.
Quality carvings, leather creations, paintings, earth wares from Kasongan, Silver jewelry from Kota Gede,not to mention all derivatives of batik creations are among products you can buy in Yogyakarta for reasonable prices. It's widely known that batik from Yogyakarta and some other cities along Java coasts are the bests.
To find a place in Yogyakarta where you can find most of craft products are sold is just go to Malioboro street, a street down town Yogyakarta which is also the icon of the city for local crafts shopping, .