History, Culture and Tourism of  Solo City / Surakarta Hadiningrat

Surakarta Sultanate (Kasunanan Palace)

On Tuesday pahing, Syawal 23th, alip year 1635, wuku sungsang, windu sancanya, or date of December 8th, 1711 was born a sweet little baby in the Kartasuro Palace, capital and administrative center of Mataram Kingdom that time. He is R.M. Gusti Prabasuyasa  son of King Amangkurat IV (Amangkurat Java) with Kanjeng Ratu Kencana. He was also the then crowned king at the Kartasuro palace on Thursday Legi, on Besar  6th, Jimakir year 1650, wuku wugu, windu adi or the date August 15th, 1726 which became known as Kanjeng Susuhunan Pakubuwono II. When Pakubuwono II became king in this Kartasuro Palace, he passed the days administration by various events, and very popular is that emerged pacinan tantrum in the year 1741. Rebellion launched by the people Tionghoa proved a huge impact on the existence Kartasuro Palace in the future. Susuhunan Pakubuwono II with it was necessary if the palace was moved only place Kartasuro more likely to be barul country. After deliberate on it with the royal officials (abdi dalem) and relative Palace, he sent some of them to find the right place.

Business delegates comprising Royal Prince Wijil, Tumenggung Tirtawiguna, Kyai Kalipah Buyut, and finally Pangulu Ibrahim Pekih Ibrahim. They successfully got the two alternative places in the village of  Sala and the earth Tata Wangi. Once Susuhunan Pakubuwono II obtained a report from the fourth envoy, he immediately ordered the Panji Tohjaya and Kyai Kyai Yasadipura to go there to make sure the place which is more suitable. The two men immediately after seeing the condition of the soil and surrounding environment is more agreement about land in the village of Sala wonder who made the new country. King also agreed with direct observations of Panji Tohjaya and Kyai Kyai Yasadipura. Works to establish a new palace started immediately and led by the Duke Pringgalaya, whereas for the stockpiling of land in a swampy village Sala was led by Kyai Gedhe Sala with the amount of labor in the thousands of people. Sala village land has become a vast plain and the construction is done immediately the king's palace. Within just one year, the king's palace at Sala has done exactly in the year 1670 or year Java 1745.  Completion of construction of the castle / palace is marked Sala sengkalan "Sirnaning resi rasa tunggal". Sirnaning means 0 (zero), resi means 7 (seven), rasa means 6 (six), a tunggal means 1 (one). Mean years in sengkalan should be drawn backward. The sentence is the same Java language with the number 1670, anniversary of the establishment Kasunanan Palace of Surakarta Hadiningrat.

On Wednesday pahing, 14th Suro, Muharam year 1670 wuku landep, windu sancaya or on February 17th, 1745 formally Susuhunan Pakubuwono Kartasuro II left the palace to the new palace is Kasunanan Surakarta Sultanate. Since it is also the central royal government moved to Solo. Now, Surakarta has changed function to become the cultural center as demanded by the times. Even today the palace is one of the attractions that are attracting both tourists tourists local and foreign tourists archipelago. Sultanate of Surakarta consists of several important parts. When we entered the palace complex from the north through the northern square, then we will find :

     * Kori Brojonolo Gate, here we can find some small wards, such as Brojonolo ward and Wisomarto ward. We will also see a space where the bell and ran two buildings north-south, where security hussar (Ngebrak).

     *  Kori Kamandungan Gate, Ward Kamandungan, painting symbols Java kingdom Sri Makutaraja, Baleroto (which stopped the vehicle), a large mirror, Java buildings Semorokoto and Narcukunda.

     *  Kori Srimanganti Gate, including "Pancaosan" panewu (the guard room of the paramedics and subordinate groups keparak), a large mirror to check himself before facing Susuhunan, which Songgobuwono stage octagonal (Hasto Wolu). Songgobuwono stage, especially the top which is known for a place to meditate, offerings and to meet with subtle body (Sukma Kararira).

When we entered the kedhaton court through Kori Sri Manganti, we will see a "Kedhaton Java" complete. Walking from east to west, first we will see Java-shaped building Jubang Limasan called maligi, the place for  circumcision son's Susuhunan. We are also in a row will see the large hall of the so-called pengrawit joglo Sasonosewoko, Paningrat ward, Sasono Ponosedya (living room while Susuhunan watching the show  wayang skin and training Bedoyo Srimpi), and Sasono Hondrowino places receive important guests or a dinner party with sacara . Also there is more of a porch that is used as a gathering place / Paseban the Prince's son, Prince Sentono and Riyo Miyos in Nginggil forward. At east Kedhaton there are three buildings north of the southern building shaped longitudinal Limasan "kelabang anyander jubangan". To two other buildings are Pradonggo Ward (gamelan room) and Ward Bujono (the guest co-host of the great room).

Cultural Heritage

In addition to the grandeur of Surakarta building also has a cultural heritage is priceless. Include traditional ceremonies, sacred dances, music, and heritage (heirloom). Famous traditional ceremony is the ceremony Grebeg Maulud, Sekaten ceremony, and  night one Suro ceremony. Ceremony from the empire era to the present continue to be implemented and an Indonesian cultural heritage that must be protected from foreign claims.

Grebeg Maulud

Grebeg ceremony was held three times in one calendar year / calendar Java, on the date Maulud twelve months (three months), the date one month Syawal (tenth month) and date of ten months (twelve months). On the day the king issued on charity as the embodiment of gratitude to God for the prosperity of the kingdom. This charity, which called Hajad Dalem, a pareden / mountain that consists of mountains and mountain kakung estri (male and female).

Kakung (male) mound shaped like a cone with a severed upper end slightly rounded. Most of these mountains consist of a bean vegetable green coupled with chili, duck eggs, and some other dried food supplies. On the right side and left the circuit fitted with an Indonesian flag in a small size.
Estri (female) mound shaped like a basket full of flower bouquets. Largely composed of dry food made from rice or sticky rice shaped like a circle and pointed. This mound is also decorated with small flags next to Indonesia it.


Sekaten is a royal ceremony is held for seven days. It is said the origin of this ceremony since the kingdom of Demak. This ceremony is actually a celebration of the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. According to folklore Sekaten word derived from the credo of Islam, Syahadatain. Sekaten begins with two sets of exit Sekati gamelan, Kyai Guntursari and Kyai Gunturmadu, from the palace to be placed in front of the Great Mosque of Surakarta. For six days, starting the sixth day until the eleventh month in the calendar Mulud Javanese gamelan both devices is played / sounded (Jw: beating) marks the celebration sekaten. Finally on the seventh day of the ceremony closed with the exit Mount Mulud. Currently in addition to such traditional ceremony also held a night market that began a month before the solemnization of the real sekaten.

One Night Suro  

Night one suro in Javanese society is a celebration of the new year according to the Javanese calendar. The night began to fall one suro sunset on the last day of last month Javanese calendar (30/29 Big) until the rising sun on the first day of the first month of next year (1 Suro). In Surakarta was commemorated with a ceremony kirab mubeng beteng (parade around the castle palace). This ceremony begins Kemandungan complex Brojonolo north through the gate and then around the entire area of the palace in the direction opposite the direction of rotation clockwise and ends at the north Kemandungan pages. In this procession heritage palace became the main part and is positioned in the front row and then followed by the lords court, the employees and ultimately the community. A unique is placed in the vanguard of a flock of heirloom albino buffalo named Kyai Slamet is always the center of public attention.

Heritage (heirloom) and sacred dances 

Surakarta has a number of collections including the royal heritage of the king's throne, gamelan music devices and the collection of weapons. Among the collection is the gamelan Kyai Kyai Gunturmadu Guntursari and that only played / sounded at the time Sekaten ceremony. In addition to the heritage of Surakarta palace also has traditional dancing performed only at certain ceremonies. For example, sacred dance is performed Bedaya Ketawang at King's crowning moment.

Pura Mangkunegaran (Mangkunegaran Palace)

Mangkunegaran foundation history is inseparable from the struggle RM Said or known as Prince Sambernyawa between years 1740  to 1757. As we know, Prince Sambernyawa   is the brother of  Susuhunan  Pakubuwono III resistance against the Dutch Company. Even in the struggle he not only faces Dutch, but he fought against his own brother susuhunan Pakubuwono III and Sultan Hamengkubuwono I (Prince Mangkubumi). During the struggle that lasted 16 years. Prince Sambernyawa known to be very smart, has a high combat power and a very difficult strategy of the enemy. Noted that in the year 1756 when there was fighting in the south Sitakepyak jungle town of Rembang, troops Dutch Company (VOC) which led Captain Van Der Pol and Captain Beiman as much as 2 Detachement be destroyed. Although he struggled with a small number of troops and war equipment patch, but thanks to his ability he makes the Dutch were forced to admit defeat.

When there is more fighting in Yogyakarta, three months before end of the year 1757, Prince Sambernyawa with his troops had ravaged the Dutch Company Citadel.  Events  that Dutch defense broken made Nicolas Hartingh, Dutch resident for Yogyakarta quickly asked susuhunan Pakubuwono III to persuade Prince Sambernyawa with the intention that the Prince's help in running the government in Salakarta. The meeting between the two brothers are brothers and sisters produce agreement in which Prince Sambernyawa agreed to create an initial life of peace, an honorable end of the journey in uniting ideals Mataram again. Prince Sambernyawa its troops Mangkuyuda and build a new palace. The whole family back together in a new residence in Salakarta.

On Saturday Legi 5th, Jumadil Awal, year Alip Kuntara Windu, Java year in 1638 or March 17th, 1757, another meeting was held which was attended susuhunan Kasunanan Pakubuwono III of  Surakarta Sultanate, Patih Danurejo which represents Sultan Hamengkubuwono I of Yogyakarta Sultanate and Prince Sambernyawa who then styled KGPAA Mangkunegoro I. Further meeting had produced agreement that the contents of Salatiga saying among other things, that KGPAA Mangkunegoro I was different from the Javanese kings others, just not allowed to sit on the throne, founded the Center Winata, has a square with a pair of banyan trees and killing lives. Submitted to him under their control are also areas that spread from the ground Kaduang, Laroh, Matesih, Wiroko, Hariboyo, Honggobayan, Sembuyan, Gunung Kidul, Pajang to the north side and south side of the road Kartasuro-Solo, the new kingdom named Puro Mangkunegaran with KGPAA Mangkunegoro I as head of the Family and all relatives protector.

Along with the passage of time, Pura Mangkunegaran has changed the function of the central government of the Kingdom of the cultural center. Now, Pura Mangkunegaran is one of the interesting attractions in Solo, Central Java and is a palace or temple Pengageng residence (KGPAA Mangkunegoro), the Palace was built by Mangkunegoro Mangkunegaran II  between the years 1804-1866. Architecture of the building as a model home / traditional Javanese buildings. Mangkunegaran palace building itself actually consists of  two parts or the main room, namely :

     *  Pendopo, pavilion-style temple Mangkunegaran joglo traditional architecture with 4 pieces cornerstone of (the main pillars) are usually used for dance performances Java. In the western part of the device are stored pendapa gamelan green cloth covered. Gamelan is an heirloom gamelan named Kyai Kanyut Mesem aged approximately 200 years. Kyai Kanyut Mesem addition, there are also at Pendopo gamelan "Ceremony, Munggang, Cerobalen and the Kodok Ngorek", which often struck at certain ceremonies. Ceremonies are the coronation, marriage, circumcision, and the arrival of important guests.

     *  Dalem Agung, which is usually used for traditional ceremonies. Its form is Limasan with 8 pillars of fruit, not closed plafond, as a symbol of the sun. Dalem Agung collecting ancient objects made of ancient bronze objects made of bronze and gold. Here also presented ampilan goods ceremony ancient weapons supplies to Bedoyo dances, Srimpi and Langendriyan. Dalem Agung 838.75 m2 wide, with a height of 8.50 meters the main pillar, the main pillar of  0.50 meters x 0.50 meters, tall poles 5 feet, big poles x 0.25 meters and 0.25 meters high 3.20 meter steel pole. Dalem Agung can only be used for traditional ceremonies of the royal family. Mangkunegaran Palace was opened to the public as a tourist attraction since 1968.

History  of Batik
Of  the kingdoms in the vicinity of  Solo and Yogyakarta 17, 18 and 19th centuries, batik and widespread, especially in the areas of Java Island. Batik initially just a hobby of the royal family in the ornate through clothing. However, further development, the community developed batik to trade commodities

Solo Batik is famous for its traditional style and patterns in the process of  "batik tulis".  The materials used for coloring is still a lot of wear materials domestic well-known since the first such as "Soga Jawa." The pattern remained among others known as "Sidomukti" and "Sidoluhur".

While batik from Yogyakarta area known since the kingdom of  Mataram I with king Panembahan Senopati. The first area is batik in Plered. Batik at the time limited within the family court which was done by the women helpers queen. From here batik extends to the first trap on the other court the family is the wife of the courtiers and soldiers. At the official ceremony of the royal court families both men and women dressed in batik and striated combination. Because of this kingdom received a visit from the people and the people interested in the clothes worn by the family court and imitated by the people and eventually spread out batik out of the palace walls.

As a result of the ancient time of  war between the families of kings or the former Dutch colony, then a lot of families who fled the king and settled areas, new areas such as the Banyumas, Pekalongan, and East to Ponorogo, Tulungagung and so on. Expanding this area until batik-area historical development according to the Indonesian national struggle began the 18th century. Families who fled the palace is a developing batik all over the island of Java and the existing natural and developed according to the new area.

Diponegoro war against the Netherlands, urged the prince and his family and his followers had to leave the kingdom. They then spread to the East and West. Then in the new areas that the family and followers of Prince Diponegoro to develop batik.

East from Solo and Yogyakarta batik style batik refine existing in Mojokerto and Tulungagung. It also spread to Gresik, Surabaya and Madura. Westward was developed in Banyumas Batik, Pekalongan, Tegal, Cirebon.

Batik as Indonesia's Cultural Heritage
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on Friday (2/10/2009) set batik as Indonesia's cultural heritage. Day-awaited by the entire population was also used as a day of batik. Inauguration of the UNESCO Indonesian batik made in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

The President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) called on all Indonesian people to wear batik on October 2, simultaneously. This is intended as an expression of gratitude for the achievements and the grace that has been achieved by the Indonesian people. This appeal was immediately followed by the head of the region in Indonesia.

Not only that, Indonesian Student Association of Malaysia (PPIM) calls Indonesian students in Malaysia to use the batik. "Together we want to deliver news and appeals that the Indonesian Students Association of Malaysia being an intensified program we call  "BERDUA BERBATIK" which is the abbreviation of "Together  2 October use batik, "said Chairman PPIM Abdullah Abbas.

The batik sellers also get a fortune from this UNESCO decision. Because the public's enthusiasm for increasing wear batik, batik they were selling were sold just like peanuts. This occurs in at least one of the batik shop in the Market Atom Phase I floor I, Surabaya.

Problem batik will be the official property of these premises, the country Jiran which also claimed batik, Malaysia is not stayed silent. UNESCO will strengthen heard batik as Indonesia's cultural heritage, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that his party would study the decision of UNESCO. But until this moment not yet known whether the intention Malaysia successfully.

Indonesian batik confirmation process is quite long. Beginning on September 3rd, 2008 which was subsequently accepted officially by UNESCO on January 9th, 2009. The next stage is testing closed by UNESCO in Paris on 11th to May 14th, 2009.

Wherever you go today, let's wearing batik!

Another Interesting Places

Klewer Market 

Adjacent to the northern square Kasunanan Surakarta Palace have Java textile sales center (Solo) ie Klewer market. The market is one of the largest textile market in Indonesia that provides a variety of motifs and unique range of textiles both traditional (hand-made) or a more modern (production plant). Various kinds of textiles sold in  Klewer market is very varied, but most interesting is striated and batik for the Java community is not merely a material for everyday clothing, but also used for ceremonial purposes. Striated (lurik) and batik been around since the time of  Majapahit, and is one of the traditional image of Java is very entrenched. Striated and batik are woven villagers work in the past that did not sink in the suit modern technological advances. Even at the present time more and more manufacturers produce a variety  motive is always growing. Striated (lurik) and batik are still believed to have symbolic meanings that are stored in it. And especially urban upper middle class began to see it as something exotic because it was fascinated by his motives are enchanting.

Now, Klewer Market not only sells a variety of textiles but also industrial products and other handicrafts, such as bags, shoes, belts, shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, hats, etc., until the craft goods from gold and silver and goods of household needs. As a shopping center, Klewer Market every day from morning till night is always crowded visitors including tourists overseas.

Radya Pustaka Museum
The oldest museum in Central Java, featuring ancient stuff, such as keris, Dutch and Javanese books, etc.

Sangiran Museum 

Less than 20 km to the north of Solo is one of the world's riches beds of prehistoric fossils, at Sangiran. Human, animal and plant fossils dating back hundreds of thousands of years can be found lying around the area in great abundance, for more orderly viewing of preserved ancestors, check out the Sangiran Museum.

Pengging Bathing Pool

It is located in Dukuh village, Banyudono subdistrict, 12 km from Boyolali city to the east. Years ago the bathing pool was privately used by Pakubuwono X and his royal family.

 Sukuh Temple 

The Sukuh temple has a highly distinctive character, not to be found in any other shrines in Indonesia. Located on the slopes of mount Lawu, it consists of three terraces that resembles the architecture of the Incas. The first terrace is adorned by a carved Phallus aimed at Yoni, that depicts sexual relations and  growth in the womb before birth. In Sukuh temple, visitors will enjoy many unique and erotic reliefs surrounded by a beautiful and  impressing panorama.

Ceto Temple

Dating from the 15th century, the Ceto temple located 12 km above the Sukuh temple. The journey to the temple is a trip for the real adventure along a winding road tea garden of Kemuning, rubbers forest and some Agro tourism up. The temple has fourteen terraces and it's architecturally reminiscent of ancient Aztec and Mayan culture of Central America.

Tawangmangu Resort

Just a few kilometers to the South of Sukuh Temple, this resort offers a cool and refreshing escape from Solo city life. Try the walk from here to the temple; it takes about 2 1/2 hours and takes you through monkey in-habited, forested hills pass the impressive Grojogan Sewu water.

Selo Pass
A beautiful landscape between Merapi and Merbabu mountain, a short cut road from Solo to Borobudur temple. Very interesting and challenging.

Gong Cave

Gong cave has incredible ornaments which cannot be found in any other caves. This 256 meter underground cave, has 12 rooms, 7 springs and natural both. It's located about 7 km from Punung market on the way to Pacitan (70 km south-east of Solo). People believe that on a certain day of Friday, there is a traditional song called 'Jaranan' coming from the cave. Until now the song sometimes still can be heard. The sound of Gong (traditional drum) heard louder than others, that is why this cave is named Gong Cave.

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Pengging Princess

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5 Responses to "SOLO THE SPIRIT OF JAVA"

  1. thanks for the information my friend, I'll look at it...:-)
    sangat menarik, terima kasih teman saya...:-)

  2. Blognya aku link ya ke FE UNS biar SOLO makin di cintai terutama yg pernah bersentuhan dng kota tsb,Pak wakil walkot sohib dlm SMS hahaha...

  3. You're welcome Zvonko anD Aunty Frans,of course we must love this city is rich with traditional cultural heritage has been even acknowledged by the International.We are proud and will always maintain the high values,so that is always enjoyed by our child and grandchildren.

  4. I enjoyed reading this post. Keep up the good work, mate.


  5. hi, im from surabaya.. you write so good about solo, im proud this :D