11 December 2018

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Posted by admin on February 11, 2014
Karaton (Istana) Surakarta is one of the exotic buildings of its time. It was built by the King of Mataram Kingdom, Susuhunan Pakubuwono II (Sri Sunan Pakubuwono II) in 1744. One of the architects of this palace was Prince Mangkubumi (later titled Sultan Hamengkubuwana I) who also became the main architect of Yogyakarta Palace. Therefore it is not surprising that the archetypal patterns look similar to those at Karaton Kasultanan Yogyakarta. Most of the palace is nuanced in white and blue with a Javanese-European mixed architectural style.
This palace complex complex still serves as a residence of Sri Sunan and his court house that still runs the royal tradition until today. A part of the palace complex is a museum that houses various collections of kasunanan, including gifts from European kings, replicas of palace heirlooms, and gamelan.
In general, the division of the palace includes: Alun-alun lor complex, Sasana Sumewa Complex, Siti Hinggil, Kamandungan Lor, Sri Manganti Lor, Kedaton Complex, Kamagangan Complex, Sri Manganti Kidul, Kamandungan Kidul, Siti Hinggil Kidul, and Alun-alun Kidul. The palace complex is also surrounded by baluwarti, a wall of defense with a height of about three to five meters and about one meter thick. This wall encloses an area with a rectangular area of five hundred meters wide and about seven hundred meters long. 
Alun-alun lor Complex
The complex includes Gladag, Alun-alun Lor, and Surakarta Great Mosque. In the Mataram Kingdom era, people, including the royal family, used to hunt for animals in the forests; and the areas around Gladag were the sheds for the animals before being transferred to butchers. 
Alun-alun is the place to hold royal ceremonies which involve the lay people. In the middle of  Alun-alun, there are two banyan trees (Ficus Benjamina, Moraceae Family), named Dewadaru and Jayadaru. Both are also called Waringin Sengkeran (literally: Caged Banyan Trees). 
To the west of the Alun-alun, stands Surakarta Great Mosque. This was the official mosque of the kingdom and was founded by Susuhunan Pakubuwana III in 1750 (Kasunanan Surakarta was an Islamic kingdom). To the north of the alun-alun,  there are two small wards, called Bale Pewatangan and Bale Pekapalan. These used to be the rest areas for the kingdom warriors after practicing. Other buildings around the square are now used as souvenir kiosks. In the southwest and the northeast of alun-alun, there are two large gates that serve as the exit from the alun-alun complex. These gates are named Gapura Batangan and Gapura Klewer.
Sasana Sumewa & Siti Hinggil
Sasana Sumewa is the main building in the forefront of Surakarta Palace. This place was in its time used as a place where King recieved the upper and middle officials of the Kingdom. 
Siti Hinggil is an area for the top authorities during the royal ceremonies. The complex has two gates, one on the north called Kori Wijil and one on the south called Kori Renteng. The main building in the Siti Hinggil complex is called Sasana Sewayana. There are also some other halls: Bangsal Manguntur Tangkil and Bangsal Witana; Bangsal Gandekan Tengen, and Bangsal Angun-angun. 
Kamandungan Lor Complex
Kori Brajanala (Kori Brojonolo) or Kori Gapit is the main entrance gateway from north to inside the Kamandungan Lor courtyard. This gate at the same time become the gate of spears (complex within the palace surrounded by a palace wall called baluwarti) that connects the Road Supit Urang with the courtyard in the palace. This gate was built by Susuhunan Pakubuwana III in Semar Tinandu style. Semar Tinandu is a gate that has a trapezoidal roof, like a joglo, without a pole and is only supported by a wall that separates a complex with the next complex.
On the right and left (west and east) of the inner Kori Brajanala there is a Wisamarta Ward where guards of the palace guard. In addition to the east of this gate there is a bell tower. In the center of this complex there is only a blank page. The building contained within this complex is just at the edge of the page. From this page can also be seen a magnificent tower called Sanggung Buwana Stage (Panggung Songgo Buwono) located in the next complex, Complex of Sri Manganti.
Above Kori Kamandungan Lor / North (also called Balerata) there is a picture of a red and white flag and various weapons of war, in which there is a picture of a cotton leaf, and above there is a crown image, the picture as a whole is called Sri Makutha King, which is a symbol of the old Javanese royal palace. To the left and right of Balerata there are stalls as a parking lot for the trains and vehicles that will be used by Sri Sunan. Now this place serves as the Palace Train Museum.