Let's Get Closer To the Royal Palaces in Indonesia

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One of the things I love about my job is the opportunity to visit different areas and get closer many cultures of the archipelago. Apart from beaches, I also like historical tours including getting to know the royal palaces in Indonesia. I will invite Menong friends to get to know some of the royal palaces which still show their elegance even though they are no longer glorious.

Apart from the Sultanate of Yogyakarta and the Sultanate of Cirebon which I visited when I was still in school, there have been several sultanates that I have visited in recent years.

Balla Lompoa, Gowa, South Sulawesi

When I set foot in South Sulawesi on 31 December 2011, I had the opportunity to visit Balla Lompoa, a big house, in Gowa Regency. Now known as the Balla Lompoa Museum, this building with the typical Bugis architecture left me stunned. Balla Lompoa is a reconstruction of the Gowa royal palace which was founded in 1936.
Balla Lompoa Makassar Indonesia
Even though I didn't get to enter, I admired every detail of the building. A very wide yard, sturdy ironwood, rows of windows, and a 2 meter high staircase welcomed us. Unfortunately, because of the holidays, my friends and I could not enjoy this collection of Gowa royal objects which are still well preserved.

Seeing the grandeur of the buildings in an area of ​​one hectare, one can imagine how dashing the kings of Gowa were. 
Balla Lompoa Makassar Indonesia
Located in the Sungguminasa area, Somba Opu, Menong's friends can stop by easily because they are in an urban area where angkot or motorized tricycles pass by. Even though it's in Gowa Regency, Somba Opu also shares a border with Makassar City !

Solo Palace and Puro Mangkunegaran, Solo, Central Java

At the end of 2014, we were assigned to Solo, Central Java. Since there was no flight schedule that matched the activity schedule, we finally decided to go home by train. 

The train schedule for Bandung is at 19.00 WIB, we also agreed to go around the city of Solo. Besides Klewer Market, we also stopped at Puro Mangkunegaran. At first I thought the place we were visiting would be the Solo Palace, I understand that this is the first time I have visited this batik city.

Previously the Mataram Sultanate was divided into the Yogyakarta Sultanate and the Surakarta Sultanate. The Surakarta Sultanate, which was led by Sunan Pakubuwono, was located at the Solo Palace. One of the duchy under the Surakarta Sultanate was Mangkunegaran which was led by a Prince Adipati.

According to the Salatiga agreement in 1757, the Mangkunegaran Duchy was an autonomous kingdom that had the right to have its own army separate from the Surakarta Sultanate with regional authority of nearly 50% of the Surakarta Sultanate's territory. Likewise with its own palace, namely Puro Mangkunegaran.

Puro Mangkunegaran which was built in 1757 AD has become one of the famous tourist destinations. With a ticket costing Rp. 20,000, we can enjoy the beauty of the palace which still stands majestically.
Like lost adventurers, for almost half a day we rested in the yard of Puro Mangkunegaran while enjoying the dance performed by the children who were learning to dance. Not many tourists, I forget the reason. We are not allowed to enter the pavilion or take photos.
Dancing Class ini Solo Palace

What caught my attention, the atmosphere was very beautiful. Well preserved old building. I think the Puro Mangkunegaran building also adopted a European design because the Cupid statue clearly appears as an ornament that contrasts with other designs that are very thick with local culture.

Before going home, we also took the time to stop at the Solo Palace which is not far from Puro Mangkunegaran. We didn't have time to go inside, thank God there were still photos that we were able to capture.

Kadriah Palace, Pontianak, West Kalimantan

Early 2017 was my first visit to a city known as the city of the equator. Stopping for a while at the office we were headed for, we spent some time walking around the city while waiting for the scheduled departure to Ketapang district which had to be reached by flight.

Unfortunately, in Pontianak there is no public transportation that can take us around the city. Thankfully, a friend who is a teaching staff at a state university in the city of Pontianak recommended two of his students to become local online motorcycle taxi drivers. So the four of us traveled a la 'rider' in the hot sun.

The first goal is, of course, the Equator Monument and continue to visit one of the palaces that was once glorious in its era. Being in a residential area, we walked along the road to the Kadriah palace.

Kadriah Palace is a palace built by Sultan Syarif Abdurrahman Alkadrie on the banks of the Kapuas river, the longest river in Indonesia. The construction of the Kadriyah palace is made of ironwood which is 245 years old. This type of wood is very sturdy and strong and water resistant. This palace consists of 4 floors with a wide porch surrounding the building in shades of yellow and green. 
Kadriah Palace Indonesia

Kadriah Palace Indonesia

Even though it seems that it is not well maintained, this palace still has the splendor of the past. The inside of the palace was not opened but I could peek through the window. An explanation of this palace was delivered by the palace guard. Based on information, the back of the palace is still inhabited by the sultan's descendants. I also took a peek into the back area, unfortunately the atmosphere looks deserted.

Tanjungpura Palace – Matan, Ketapang, West Kalimantan

The second destination in West Kalimantan that I visited in early 2017 was Ketapang Regency. Located approximately 50 minutes flight from Pontianak, Ketapang is my favorite city. Apart from serving a variety of culinary delights that taste extraordinary such as spicy and sour baung fish , durian or fern vegetables which I have never enjoyed in Bandung, Ketapang has a lot of cultural and historical arts tourism. The history of Ketapang will never be separated from the kingdom that once stood majestically in the past.

The Kingdom of Tanjungpura – Matan which is the oldest kingdom in West Kalimantan is located in Ketapang. The Matan Royal Palace, which is dominated by yellow tones and has a wooden roof, has many stories. One of them is the story of Raja Gusti Muhammad Saunan who was picked up by Japanese troops and never returned.
Tanjungpura – Matan Indonesia
When compared to other kingdoms, the location of the Matan Kingdom's palace is relatively quieter. Estimated to have been built in 1924 AD, the palace building often underwent renovations. Like other palaces, ironwood is the main wood that supports the building. Currently the Matan Royal palace functions as a memorabilia museum which is still well maintained. There is implied sadness when I read this history of the Matan kingdom. Many relics are on display and given notes about them.
Tanjungpura – Matan Indonesia

Maimun Palace, Medan, North Sumatera

July 2018, I landed in the provincial capital of North Sumatra, Medan. Known as a big city with a myriad of activities, it turns out that Medan has its own charm, especially in the field of historical tourism to get to know the royal palaces in Indonesia. Maimun Palace, located not far from where we were staying, my friends and I decided to take a walk while enjoying the beautiful afternoon of the city of Melayu Deli.

Located at Jalan Brigjen Katamso No 66, Maimun Palace is open every day from 08.00 – 17.00 WIB, Maimun Palace invites Menong friends to get acquainted with this Medan city icon. Dominated by the color yellow, the palace with an area of ​​± 2,722 m2 has a distinctive architecture of Malay-Islamic culture with Europe. The yellow color itself has a distinctly Malay meaning and is the color of the greatness of the Deli kingdom. Arches (arcades) on the roof that resemble boats best characterize Islamic buildings as well as buildings in the Middle East.

Greeted by a marble-lined staircase imported directly from Italy, Menong's friends can immediately enjoy a room filled with typical palace furniture and decorations. Each room certainly has its own function such as the coronation of a king or receiving guests.
Maimun Palace Medan Indonesia

Founded on August 26, 1888, this palace has 2 floors, 30 rooms and 3 parts, namely the main building for the king's throne, the right wing and the left wing. This palace is a legacy of the Deli Sultanate which was founded by Sulan Mahmoed Al Rasyid Perkasa Alamsyah who is the 9th descendant of the Deli Sultanate.

It is undeniable, the beauty of this palace still radiates. Every unique detail and ornament feels refreshing to the eye. In the main room with an area of ​​± 412 m2, Menong's friends can see and take pictures against the backdrop of the throne which is dominated by yellow.

Menong's friends can also rent clothes for the daughter of the Deli Sultanate while visiting the museum and become a princess for a day at the Medan Maimun Palace. For Rp. 60,000, Menong's friends can choose the color and pattern that suits their choice and walk around the palace while wearing the typical clothing of the sultan's daughter. Menong's friends can make every corner of the palace a photo spot.

And guess what, my friends and I also experienced being princesses for a day at Maimun's palace by renting the typical clothing of a sultan's daughter.
Maimun Palace Medan Indonesia
It's exciting to know the royal palaces in Indonesia. Not only eye-catching but also being able to dive into the history of a strong and enchanting nation with all its beauty.

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