Yogyakarta, Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX Museum

Yogyakarta, Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX Museum

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The Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono IX Museum is located in the southeast precinct of the main palace.

This architecturally marvelous museum dedicated for the 9th Sultan of Yogyakarta, Sri Hamengku Buwono IX (1912-1988), was officially opened on 28th November 1992 by the then President of Indonesia, Soeharto. The aim is to venerate the life and contributions of arguably the most important icon of Indonesian’s drive towards independence.

Inside, the roofing looks like a typical bangsal commonly found in the Keraton, except that the panels are gold-plated and embellished by expensive chandeliers. There is a display of the actual desk used by the late Sultan for his day-to-day job. At one side, there are also three stone placards which immortalise the formal pact between the Sultan and President Soekarno that have given Yogyakarta a special status in the Republic of Indonesia. There is a small pathway that leads to another display area where childhood and teenage photos, cooking utensils, kitchen stove, silverwares, etc, of the Sultan are showcased to the public.

This Dutch-educated royalty (he studied in HBS-B Haarlem and Leiden University, both in the Netherlands) became the 9th Sultan of Yogyakarta in 1940. He played an active role during the Indonesian Revolution movement against the Dutch colonialist that eventually led to the birth of Republic of Indonesia in 1945. His contributions, among other, was to move the capital of the newly-birth republic to Yogyakarta temporarily to safeguard the nation’s interest. Interestingly, during this event, the Dutch colonialists were not in the position to attack the city due to the Sultan‘s strong influence with the guerilla troops and the people in general.

All done and dusted, with the eventual withdrawal of Dutch colonialists from Indonesia, the first President of Indonesia, Soekarno, accorded a special status to the district of Yogyakarta that is independent and somewhat autonomous on certain jurisdictions.

This much-revered Sultan passed away in 1988 at George Washington University Medical Centre at the age of 76. He was buried at the royal mausoleum in Imogiri, near the village of Bantul.

Literally a living museum. Highly recommended to learn a bit more on the special district’s history.

Yogyakarta, Great Mosque of Kauman

Yogyakarta, Great Mosque of Kauman

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Masjid gede Kauman (Great Mosque of Kauman) is a historical mosque located west of Keraton North Square built as the main structure for the dissemination of Islamic teachings in the era of Kasultanan Yogyakarta. The cultural structure was built on Mei 29 1773 by an architect named Kyai Wiryokusumo, during the reign of Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I.

The mosque is an integrated part of the Kasultanan Yogyakarta, as the center for Islamic teachings in Yogyakarta, during that period. The existence of the Mosque is an omen that the Sultan besides being the leader of the government (Senopati Ing Ngalogo) and war, is also the delegation of Allah (Sayidin Panatagama Khalifatullah) in religious acts. Until now, Kasultanan Yogyakarta still maintains its status as an Islamic influence to local residents.

Yogyakarta, Kraton, Sultan

Kraton, Sultan, Yogyakarta

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Yogyakarta Sultanate (Indonesian: Kesultanan Yogyakarta; Javanese: Kasultanan/Keraton Ngayogyakerto Hadiningrat) is a Javanese monarchy in the province of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


Pagelaran, the front hall of Kraton Yogyakarta

Beksan dancers, circa 1870.

After Sultan Agung, the Sultanate of Mataram was declining due to power struggle within the sultanate. To make things worse, VOC (Dutch East India Company) exploited the power struggle to increase its control. At the peak of the conflict, the Mataram Sultanate was split in two based on the Treaty of Giyanti of February 13, 1755: Yogyakarta Sultanate and Surakarta Sunanate.

The Giyanti Treaty mentioned Pangeran Mangkubumi as Sultan of Yogyakarta with the title of Sampeyan Dalem Ingkang Sinuwun Kanjeng Sultan Hamengkubuwono Senopati Ingalaga Abdul Rakhman Sayidin Khalifatullah Panatagama (His Majesty, The Sultan-Carrier of the Universe, Chief Warrior, Servant of the Most Gracious, Cleric and Caliph that Safeguards the Religion).

During the era of Dutch occupation there were two principalities, the Yogyakarta Sultanate (Kasultanan Yogyakarta) and the smaller Pakualaman Duchy / Principality (Kadipaten Pakualaman).

The Dutch Colonial Government arranged for the carrying out autonomous self government, arranged under a political contract. When the Indonesian independence was proclaimed, the rulers, the Sultan of Yogyakarta and Prince of Pakualaman made a declaration they would become part of the Republic of Indonesia. Those two regions were unified to form the Yogyakarta Special Region and the sultan became the Governor of Yogyakarta and the Prince of Pakualaman as the vice-governor; both were responsible to the President of Indonesia. The Special Region of Yogyakarta was created after the independence war ended and legalized on August 3, 1950.

In carrying out the local government administration it considers three principles: decentralization, deconcentration and assistance. The provincial government carries out the responsibilities and authorities of the central government, while on other hand carrying out its autonomous responsibilities and authorities. The Regional Government consists of the Head of the Region and the Legislative Assembly of the Region. Such construction guarantees good cooperation between the Head of Region and the Legislative Assembly of Region in order to achieve a sound regional government administration. The Head of the Special Region of Yogyakarta has got responsibility as the Head of the Territory and titled as a Governor.

The first Governor was the late Hamengkubuwono IX, Sultan of Yogyakarta and continued by HRH. Paku Alam VIII as acting governor until Hamengkubuwono X ascended in 1998. Unlike the other heads of regions in Indonesia, the governor of the Special Region of Yogyakarta has the privilege or special status of not being bound to the period of position nor the requirements and way of appointment. However, in carrying out their duties, they have the same authorizations and responsibilities.


The principal residence of the sultan is the kraton (palace), sometimes called the Yogyakarta Kraton but otherwise known in formal terms Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat.

Yokyakarta, Affandi Art of Painting Museum

Affandi Art of Painting Museum

Visiting Affandi Museum that is located on Jalan Raya Yogyakarta – Solo, or by the west bank of Gajah Wong River, give an opportunity for you to trace all meaningful parts of Affandi’s life. You can see the great works when he was alive, the works of other painters that he kept, the vehicles that he used in the past, the house where he used to live and a gallery that now functions as a place to educate gifted children in painting.

The complex of the museum consists of 3 galleries with gallery I as the ticket box and the starting point of your exploration. Gallery I that was personally opened by Affandi in 1962 and was inaugurated in 1974 contains some of his paintings from the early time of his work to the late time of his life. The paintings most of which are sketches and reproductions are placed in two rows – upper and lower – that fill the curved room.

Still in Gallery I, you can see valuable things belonging to Affandi. At one corner of the room, there is a 1976 Colt Gallant car in greenish yellow color that was modified to form a fish, and an old wind-cycle as his means of transportation. The reproduction of the statue of Affandi and her daughter, Kartika, is shown as well.

Entering Gallery II, you will see paintings by different painters, both junior and senior ones. The gallery that was inaugurated in 1988 consists of two floors with paintings that you can see from different angles. The first floor is full of abstract paintings and the second floor contains realist-style paintings.

Gallery III as the next destination is a unique building of which roof resembles banana leaf. The three-stories floor is a multifunction gallery with the first floor functions as an exhibition room as well as the location of “Gajah Wong Gallery” for children who sharpen their painting ability, the second floor functions as paintings treatment and restoration room, and the room underground is utilized to keep painting collections.

There is a tower close to Gallery III where you can see the scenery of the entire museum, Gajah wong River and the hurly-burly of the main street. Walking to the west, you will come to a house with unique architecture where Affandi and his family used to live.

The house was built with the concept of a stage-house with concrete as the main pillars and other poles are from wood. The roof is shingle roof forming banana leaf and the shape of the building is uniquely curving. The ground floor is used for Kafe Loteng where you can buy foods and drinks and the upper floor is personal room of Affandi’s.

At the left side of the house, there is a cart functioning as a place for praying. The cart used to be the resting place for Affandi’s wife, Maryati. Initially, Maryati wanted a caravan as the ones used by many Americans as a mobile living place. Affandi agreed to the concept but with more Indonesian style, namely a cart.

Before leaving the museum, take a little time to visit the tomb of the maestro who passed away on 23 May 1990. The tomb lays between Gallery I and II. The eternal home of Affandi’s lays beside his wife’s eternal home. The yard of the homes is decorated by lushness of rose trees.

In order to visit Affandi Museum, you only have to spend IDR 10,000 for domestic tourists and IDR 20,000 for foreign tourists and additional IDR 10,000 for taking photographs.

Text: Yunanto Wiji Utomo



Yogyakarta, Batik Museum

Yogyakarta, Batik Museum

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Situated on Jl. Dr. Sutomo No. 13 A Yogyakarta, this museum was built on May 12, 1977 as the idea of the family of Hadi Nugroho. The enthusiasm of the people particularly from the foreigner tourists is the main reason why this museum was established. Began from their own family, parents, grand parents, and their own generation, this museum was finally came true.

Its colections contain of long clothes and sarung that is recently more than 400 clothes and some equipments to make batik. Its oldest colection is a work of batik from 1840.

It has regular event that is held at museum every Monday to Saturday from 09.00 AM – 15.00 PM. In the year of 2000, it received an award from MURI for its biggest works of Sulaman that was 90×400 cm² large. A year later, MURI also gave it an award for the pioner of the establishment of the first Sulaman Museum in Indonesia.

Yokyakarta, Dewantara Kirti Griya Museum

Yokyakarta, Dewantara Kirti Griya Museum


Dewantara Kirti Griya was the former home of Ki Hajar Dewantoro, the founder of the ‘Taman Siswa‘ Institute. Taman Siswa is the oldest national educational institute in Indonesia and established in 1932. Ki Hajar Dewantoro was both an educator and a fervent patriot fighting for independence. He was a close friend of Rabindranath Tagore, an educational figure from India.

The style of the building, the carvings, the reliefs and the very attractive statues bring the image of harmony and astonishing impression of Indonesian cultural artwork.

Yokyakarta, Diponegoro Museum

Yokyakarta, Diponegoro Museum


20 July 1825
The Castle in Tegal Rejo where Pangeran Diponegoro lived

Outside the fort there were three-time gun explosions; the war started. North, east and south sides were besieged by Dutch troop. Paramilitary troop at the west side fought hard. Lead by Joyomustopo and Joyoprawiro, the paramilitary troop was pushed back. The force was far different. A man in white robe and white turban on his head calmly and wisely chose to break down the west wall of the castle. With several hits the wall was broken down. A command was given to save the family and the remaining paramilitary troop. With his entire troop, the man in white robe chose to go away to the west. It was such a difficult decision made to save his family and troop.
Kanjeng Pangeran Diponegoro (Prince Diponegoro)

He was born in the Kingdom of Yogyakarta on 11 November 1785; his nickname was Bendoro Raden Mas Ontowiryo and later was called Kanjeng Pangeran Diponegoro as the oldest son of Raden Ayu Mangkorowati (the daughter of Pacitan Regent) the concubine of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono III (HB III).

Pangeran Diponegoro had stronger interest in religious life and equality with lay people, so that he preferred to live in Tegalrejo village.
Java War

During the reign of HB V (1822), Pangeran Diponegoro did not agree to the governance system held by Patih Danurejo and a Dutch officer. This rebellion culminated in 1825, after the Dutch made the road connecting Yogyakarta and Magelang passing through his house (now a railway). The Dutch colony that did not ask Pangeran Diponegoro for permission was fought by Pangeran and his troop. The Dutch that had a reason to seize Pangeran Diponegoro as a rebel; the Dutch troop surrounded his house on 20 July 1825. Being shoved, Pangeran and his family saved their lives to the west until Dekso village in Kulonprogo Regency and continued to the south reaching Selarong cave located five kilometers west of Bantul town.

The Dutch troop that did not succeed in capturing him fired Pangeran Diponegoro’s house.

Selarong cave that is situated in Kentolan Lor village, Guwosari Pajangan of Bantul Regenc was the camp of Pangeran Diponegoro where he set guerrilla strategy against the Dutch colony. Pangeran lived in the west part of the cave, named Goa Kakung, functioning as his place for meditating. Raden Ayu Retnaningsih (his concubine who faithfully accompanied him after the demise of his earlier two wives) and his troop lived in Goa Putri in the eastern part.

The Diponegoro War that lasted until 1830 was called Java Oorlog (Java War) in history books written by the Dutch writers. In this war, the Dutch colony lost not less than 15,000 soldiers and spent more than 20 millions Gulden.
The History of Sasana Wiratama building

Located about 4 kilometers of Jogja city center, as wide as 2.5 hectares land that used to be managed by Tourism and Culture Department was handed by the heir of Pangeran Diponegoro, Raden Ayu Kanjangteng Diponegoro, to function as a monument after signing a transfer letter with Nyi Hadjar Dewantara and Kanjeng Raden Tumenggung Purejodiningrat. On the land that is now owned by Yogyakarta Kingdom, beginning from mid of 1968 until 19 August 1969, a monument was built on pringgitan building that adjoined with the pendopo at the center of the complex. The project was initiated by Major General Surono who was the Commander of the Military District and was inaugurated by President Suharto. This place was then named Sasana Wiratama that means the place for soldiers.

Pangeran Diponegoro monument is relief on 20 meters-long and 4 meters-high wall, telling the quiet and peaceful Tegalrejo village and the war of Pangeran Diponegoro opposing the Dutch colony until his capture in Magelang. This monument was carved by Drs. Saptoto of Indonesian Arts Academy assisted by Sutopo, Sokodiharjo and Askabul. On both sides of the monument, there were self portrait of Pangeran Diponegoro on the west side and the painting of Pangeran Diponegoro who was riding his black horse, ready to wage war, on the east side.

Passing through the main gate, turning to west side, the hall is surrounded by museum, the broken wall, dormitory and library. Additional buildings other than the hall including the gate were made between 1970 and 1973, led by Major General Widodo. The broken wall and Padasan, the place for Moslems to take clean water before praying, and Komboran, a stone container for Pangeran Diponegoro’s horses to get water and food, at the south-east part of the hall are inheritances of Pangeran Diponegoro.

In front of the building situated on H.O.S Cokroaminoto Street in Tegalrejo village, there is a statue of Lieutenant General Urip Soemohardjo with the writing “Orde.Contre-Ordre.Desordre!” on the east side and a statue of General Sudirman with the writing “Jangan Lengah” meaning ‘Don’t be inattentive’ on the west side. These statues represent the place where Indonesian people struggled for their independence. After passing through the gate, there is a two-meter high wall resembling the dome of a mosque with a picture of a giant opposing a dragon on the upper part of it. “The picture means Butho Mekso Basuki ning Bawono, Javanese old words or codes that are expressed in pictures,” said Budiman to YogYES. The words are read backwards. The writing of 5281 means 1825 as the onset of Diponegoro war.
Historical Remains

There are 100 items as the collection of Diponegoro museum, consisting of some original goods of Diponegoro paramilitary troop ranging from war weapons, coins, precious stone and home furniture. Some examples of weapons are lance, kris, sword, arrow, bandil (iron hammer), patrem (a kind of weapon for women), and candrasa (a sharp weapon that looks like a chignon pin used by women spies). There are also some household tools made from brass in 1700s such as betel container and its kecohan (container in which someone spits after chewing betel), canting (an instrument used to make batik) holder, bringsing pot, and various forms of kacip (a tool to slice areca nut as an ingredient to chew betel).

There are two sacred weapons kept in this museum, namely a kris with 21 curves named Kyai Omyang, made by an empu (kris maker) who lived during Majapahit time and a sword originating from Demak Kingdom. Those two sacred weapons are believed to be able to prevent disasters.

There is also a small statue of Ganesha, the lace of the horses that pull a cart presented by HB VIII, a couple of Loro Blonyo statue and a pair of decorative lamp. There are some parts of the gamelan (Javanese music instrument) owned by HB II that was made in 1752
in the forms of a percussion and wilahan bonang made of wood, copper and brass. There is also a cannon in the east of the hall.

In addition to the broken wall, padasan and komboran, other inheritances are kept in Magelang. There are Koran, Cup and Pot, Robe, four tables and one chair. In Satria Mandala museum in Jakarta there are horse saddle and a lance. One kris of Pangeran Diponegoro is still kept in Netherlands.
The Demise of a Great Struggler

After lasting for five years and suffering from big loss and promising 50,000 Gulden to whomever that can capture Pangeran Diponegoro, the Dutch colony still could not capture him.

* 16 February 1830, Colonel Cleerens came to Pangeran Diponegoro in Remo Kamal, Bagelen, Purworejo to invite him for a meeting in Magelang. Pangeran Diponegoro agreed to this idea.
* On 28 March 1830, with his troop, Pangeran Diponegoro saw General Governor Markus de Kock. In the meeting De Kock urged Pangeran Diponegoro to cease war. Pangeran Diponegoro refused it. The Dutch colony, via Colonel Du Perron, had prepared a careful attack. Pangeran Diponegoro and his troop were defeated. On the day, Pangeran Diponegoro was exiled to Ungaran and then he was brought to Residence Building in Semarang.
* 5 April 1830 he was sent to Batavia by Pollux ship.
* 11 April 1830 he was arrested in Stadhuis (now Fatahillah museum).
* 30 April 1830, General Governor Van den Bosch decided to send Pangeran Diponegoro, Retnaningsih, Tumenggung Diposono and his wife, and other followers such as Mertoleksono, Banteng Wereng and Nyai Sotaruno to Manado for an exile.
* 3 May 1830, Pangeran Diponegoro and the group were sent by Pollux ship and were arrested in Amsterdam Fort. The Dutch colony still considered him a threat since in this place he cans still communicate with community.
* In 1834 he was exiled separately. Pangeran Diponegoro and Retnaningsih were sent to Makassar, South Sulawesi and were arrested in Roterdam Fort under tight control.
* Pangeran Diponegoro could not move freely. He spent the days with Retnaningsih and finally he died on 8 January 1855. He was buried in Kampung Melayu, Makassar, side by side with his wife tomb.

After 151 years, Indonesian people still feel the lost of the great struggler. He had the struggle spirit without ever surrendering.

Commemorating a great struggler can be done in different ways. If you want to have a closer look at the spirit of Pangeran Diponegoro’s struggle and experienced it yourself, the broken wall will tell you about it silently. You can only see such an extraordinary view of the wall that was broken only by the hits of Pangeran Diponegoro’s in Sasana Wiratama. (YogYES.COM: R. Syah)

Yokyakarta, Dirgantara Mandala Museum

Yokyakarta, Dirgantara Mandala Museum


The Indonesian Air Force has an excellent but little known air museum in Yogyakarta called the Museum Dirgantara Mandala. The museum is located behind the main Yogyakarta airport. All aircraft are under cover and beautifully maintained in static condition. A tribute to the curator who must work with a very limited budget.

Yokyakarta, Fort Vredenburg Museum

Yokyakarta, Fort Vredenburg Museum


Benteng Vredenburg (Fort Vredenburg)
Built in 1765, Fort Vredung was the home of the Dutch Colonial Army stationed in Jogjakarta to protect the interests of the Dutch East India Company (Die Kompanie). The fort was also used as a refuge for the Dutch colonial families in times of trouble. Restored in 1980, it provides an interesting glimpse into the lives of the Dutch colonial military. Today, some of the former barracks house patriotic “Dioramas” of the fight for independence, from a primarily Indonesian point of view.
Hours: 8:00 – 12:00 (Mon – Sat)
Location: Jl. A. Yani (extension of Jl. Malioboro)
Entrance Fee: Rp. 750,-

Yokyakarta, Kekayon Puppet Museum

Yokyakarta, Kekayon Puppet Museum


Kekayon Museum, Turning On the Record of Indonesian History

The video recording describing the history of Indonesian nation may be seen often, but a recording in the form of a replica accounting for Indonesian history from old time to the independence proclamation is rarely seen, moreover a recording containing the history of the puppet art from the sixth to tenth centuries. Kekayon museum presents the rare recording in the location of its foundation, around 1 kilometer of the East Ring Road.

The museum that describes the history of Indonesian nation as well as the puppet history was founded on 23 July 1990 by Soedjono Prawirohadikusumo, a specialist doctor of mentally sick people. He believed that the art of leather puppet was able to bring someone to understanding of knowledge and manners to come to maturity in the sense that one can transform his knowledge to the next generation.

Entering the yard of the museum, you begin to turn on the recording of the Indonesian history. At the left, front corner of the museum, there is a building complex of the ancient human beings describing the origin of Indonesian people. Not far from it, an Austronesia complex describes the entrance of the new civilization to Indonesia so that agriculture and trading developed, especially thanks to the arrival of Chinese people.

At the front part of the museum, there is Borobudur lion statue, symbolizing the entrance of Hindu Buddha culture in the first – seventh centuries with Borobudur temple being the top of their culture. Water tower complex with the roof forming a temple lies at the right, rear of the museum, describing the triumph of Majapahit that succeeded in uniting almost all Indonesian current areas, even up to the current Malaysia and Thailand.

The symbol of Islam civilization advancement as the next historical scene in Indonesia after the triumph of Hindu Buddha is symbolized by Kudus Tower. Meanwhile, Pancuran Bidadari complex that is located at the left, center of the museum symbolizes the influence of the Dutch nation that colonized Indonesia for 350 years. The two complexes reflect the events taking place in Indonesia in the sixteenth century.

Replica of one scene of leather puppet art development is also made, in the form of Gunungan Kartasura that is located at the left, rear of the museum, describing the completion puppet stories in the eighteenth century by an artist of Surakarta Kingdom named Yododiupro from Kakawin Ramayana to become Serat Ramayana. Baleranu Mangkubumi complex, Japan statue and Proclamation statue symbolize the scene of Indonesian history before the independence.

Entering the room of the museum consisting of 4 parts, you will see collection of various leather puppets owned by Soedjono. There is a collection of the oldest leather puppets, namely wayang purwa or the first leather puppets that were performed since the era of Kediri Kingdom. The available wayang purwa are those made from buffalo skin with and without accessories. Room 1 and 2 are the places to keep the puppet collection.

Room 3 keeps other kinds of puppet, for instance Wayang Madya that existed in Kediri-Majapahit time, telling the time after Bharatayudha war.

Besides, there are gedhog puppets telling the story of Dewi Candrakirana, klithik puppet telling Damarwulan and Minakjinggo, Dupara puppet telling the struggle of Diponegoro and Suluh puppet that tells the struggle of Indonesian people to get the independence.

What is unique is that this museum keeps Wayang Kancil telling the legendary story of a mouse deer that stole cucumber, a puppet story that was adapted to become a famous story among old and young people. There are two kinds of Wayang Golek originating from West Java, and statues of some puppet characters such as Dewi Shinta and Rahwana.

In this museum, you can match your zodiac with the characters in the puppet world and foresee your character through a poster hanging on the wall that you can read clearly. There is another poster describing the war strategies used during Brathayuda war, by both Pandawa and Kurawa, which were successfully implemented to defeat the enemy. Some of the strategies are lobster pincer and elephant strategies.

You do not have to spend much to visit this museum. The entrance ticket is IDR 3,000 and additional IDR 2,000 for guidance book. Before begin your exploration, a guide will explain to you about the history and parts of the museum. Public transportation is easy to find to reach this place.
Text: Yunanto Wiji Utomo

Kekayon Puppet Museum

Kekayon Puppet Museum