YOGYAKARTA – the Cradle of Javanese Culture
Lying in the shadow of a 2914 meter-high pressure cooker, appropriately called Fire Mountain or Merapi, is the seat of the once mighty Javanese Empire of Mataram – Ngayogyakarto Hadiningrat. It is called Yogyakarta today and came into being in 1755, when a land dispute effectively split the power of Mataram into the Sultanates of Yogyakarta and Surakarta (Solo). The Sultan’s Palace or Kraton of Yogyakarta was built by Prince Mangkubumi at this time and he used it as a focus to build the most powerful Javanese state since the 17th century. The Sultan’s palace is still the hub of Yogyakarta’s traditional life and despite the advance of 21st century modernity; it still radiates the spirit of refinement, which has been the hallmark of its art for centuries.
Yogyakarta is one of the supreme cultural of Java. Full Gamelan orchestra create visions from the past, classical and contempory Javanese dances exhibit beautiful control and poice, wayang kulit – leather puppet theaters – come to life and hundreds of other traditional illustrations of art keep locals and visitors spellbound. It is as if the city itself has an extraordinary life force and charm which seldom fails to captivate.
Yogyakarta is one of the most densely populated areas of Indonesia and is the main gateway to the center of Java where it is geographically located. It stretches from mighty Mount Merapi to the North down to the powerful Indian Ocean to the south.