The Kraton: Reflection of Javanese Cosmos

wonderful indonesia

The Keraton (also spelled out as Kraton) or the Palace of Yogyakarta, is a grand complex which was meticulously planned to reflect the Javanese cosmos.  This fabulous palace is the example of traditional Javanese architecture that has no equivalent. Designed and built in phases, the Keraton was finished in 1790. It was constructed entirely on ancient beliefs. Every feature of the complex, from the courtyards to the trees, has a special symbolic meaning linked to Javanese world view. Read further to know more about the Keraton of Yogyakarta.

Kraton of Yogyakarta

The palace was designed to be more than just a royal house. It had been built to be center of the Sultan’s entire kingdom. The Kraton is built facing directly north towards the imperial Mt. Merapi with to its southwest backing the Indian Ocean that’s said to be the abode of Kanjeng Ratu Loro Kidul, the Queen of the South Seas and the mystic consort of the Sultan.

A grassy square known as Alun-Alun fronting the palace has a massive banyan tree at its center. Behind the castle is another similar square (Alun-Alun). When a Sultan dies, the cortege will leave by the southern gate on its way to the cemetery of kings at Imogiri.

Today, the Keraton is a bit of living history and tradition. It used to be both as a home of the Sultan and cultural center of the Yogyakarta’s court. Even with Yogyakarta’s modernization, the Kraton of Yogyakarta continues to be appreciated by the people of Yogyakarta for its mysticism and philosophy.

Visitors can explore the palace on foot. The castle is available for visitors from 08.30 am to 12.30 pm, except on Fridays and Saturdays, when it closes at 11.00 am. It’s closed in the afternoons.

The Kraton is at the middle of Yogyakarta and might be reached easily by taxicab, becak, Andong — the horse-drawn cart, or by public bus.


Jl. Rotowijayan Blok No. 1, Kota Yogyakarta, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta