Discover Kratan - Yogyakarta
What makes cities distinct from one another is the culture that is experienced within its borders. Although they are located in the same country, it does not mean that they lack individuality. Because of its people, history, and other factors it has faced over the years, each city has managed to create their own personae – a sense of individuality, if you will. Because this, many flock to their streets, doing their best to uncover its historical secrets, hidden gems, and a place for them to keep coming back to. In the city of Yogyakarta, there is one structure that represents all of Java’s culture and it is within their Kratan.
Also known as, Kraton Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, this building – with a distinct red roof – is Java’s cultural center and the home of their beloved Sultan. Although its white arches and wide entrance might not seem all that glamorous, its beauty is found within its walls. Once travelers step inside the complex, they are immediately taken away from the heat of the city, and enter another realm in time. Adorned with silver statues and barriers of mythical beings that protect the palace, and pavilions that are finished with the artists’ golden strokes, everything about this place is a nod to Java’s past. From the intricately designed architecture to the traditional garments worn by the women sprinkling the flowers, travelers are always left in awe with how well the city of Yogyakarta can preserve its rich past.
Besides the beautiful structures that riddle the Kratan, there are other activities the visitors can enjoy. There is a museum that displays the sultanate’s artifacts and six different cultural performances which shows Javas artistic side. The Gamelan performance is held every Monday-Tuesday at 10AM, while the Golek Menak Puppet performance is held every Wednesday at 10AM. A dance performance fills the 10AM Thursday slot, and Macapat on Friday, 9AM. Finally, during the weekends, a Wayang Performance occurs during Saturday at 9:30AM, and a Wayang Orang and dance performances occurs on every Sunday around 9:30AM
Since the Kratan is found in the heart of Yogyakarta, any taxi, becak, andong (a horse-drawn cart), or public bus can take you there. There is, however, an entrance fee of 12,500 IDR and an additional 1,000 IDR if you wish to take photos and videos of the place. The Kratan is open or visitors from 8:30AM to 12:30PM and closes at 11:00AM during Fridays and Saturdays.