21 January 2019

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Posted by admin on June 16, 2017
Surakarta is proud of hosting one of the oldest museums in Indonesia: Radya Pustaka Museum. This museum was established by Kanjeng Raden Adipati Sosrodiningrat IV on 18 October 1890. At that time, the museum used Panti Wibawa, a building in the Kepatihan Complex. Now, the building is used as the Office of Surakarta Prosecuting Attorney. It was at this building where Surakarta published the first monthly magazine: Sasadara. 
On 1 January 1913, the museum was moved to the present location on Jl. Brigjen. Slamet Riyadi, that used to be the residence of a Dutchman Johannes Busselaar. Maintaining the original building, the room lay-out is different from other museums. Only the bathrooms are modified to make more display spaces. 600words. 
The building used to be the storage of all the official letters of Surakarta Kingdom. As time passes by, more documents other than letters are also kept in the building, including some classical manuscripts. Today, Radya Pustaka Museum has more than 10,000 collections, including 173 stone and bronze statues. In addition, the museum also stores such historical heritage as weapons, office equipment, kitchen utensils, and also some ancient souvenirs. 
In the yard of the museum, there is a statue of Rangga Warsita, a great poet who lived in Surakarta in the 19th century. Entering into the building, the first room encountered is a space that displays various types of puppets. Not only the various types of puppets Indonesia, such as Wayang Purwa, Wayang Gadog, Wayang Madya, Wayang Klithik, Wayang Sukat, and Wayang Beber, various puppets from abroad are also displayed in this room, such as Wayang Nang from Thailand. On 7 November 2003, UNESCO designated wayang as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity. 
The next room is a space for Tosan Aji or precious metal. This room displays various weapons made of metal, statues, and miniature of Joglo, the typical house of Central Java. One the special weapons is Keris, that has been included as the Masterpiece of Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO on 25 November 2005. The third room displays various types of ceramics. Most of the ceramics stored in this space is a relic of the Dutch colonial period. One wall of this room displays a variety of sewon plates; the plates especially made to commemorate the 1,000th day after the death of a person, usually a royal member. The word sewon derives from the root sewu, a Javanese word for a thousand. 
The next room is library. The document collection of the library is mostly in Dutch or Javanese. Few of them are written in Bahasa Indonesia. While the collections are not for loan, the museum provides a spacious reading room for the visitors. The fifth room is for bronze-made collections, like statues and gamelan, a set of Javanese traditional music instruments. Some other gamelans are also displayed in the other room, including the one belonging to Kanjeng Raden Adipati Sosroningrat IV, the founder of the museum. 
The next room is the room for Rojomolo, a statue of the head a giant figure as the king of the sea. The statue was made by Sri Paku Buwono V. The statue was originally installed at the front part of the kingdom boat. It was the boat that was used to to pick up a young lady from Madura who later became the consort of Sri Paku Buwono IV. Later, Sri Paku Buwono V and Sri Paku Buwono also used the boat to pick up their consorts from Pamekasan and Bangkalan. 
Radya Pustaka Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 8:30AM to 1.00PM.