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I, and a motley crew of bloggers from the ASEAN region, had the distinct pleasure of experiencing the splendor of Keraton Surakarta Hadiningrat, also known as Keraton Sololast May 12, 2013. According to Wikipedia, kraton or keraton is the Javanese word for a royal palace. Its name is derived from ka-ratu-an which means the residence of ratuRatu is the traditional honorific title to refer the “ruler” (king or queen).

Here are some interesting facts about Keraton Solo:

  • It was the seat of the Surakarta Sunanate. Surakarta Sunanate and the Yogyakarta Sultanate are the successors of the Mataram Sultanate. While Yogyakarta rulers are called sultans, the rulers of Surakarta are called as sunans.
  • After surviving for four centuries, Mataram ceased to exist when the nation became independent as a result of the struggle of the Indonesian people for freedom (1945-1949). The court of Surakarta shared the fate of other royal seats of power in many regions of Indonesia which surrendered their traditional political roles, and became part of the Republic of Indonesia.
  • Today the Surakarta Sunanate holds no actual political power and authority on governing their realms. Its power is limited to its special position as the patron, preserver and the protector of Javanese culture.

Here are some of my photos taken during our visit:

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An abdi dalem (palace courtier) and a lady

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The lady wants to play the gong

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Javanese and European influences (Central Java was once under Dutch control)

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A gamelan musician

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Javanese Bedoyo Srimpi dancers

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An aristocratic woman garbed in the traditional kebaya and donning a hairstyle known as “konde“.

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Javanese warrior dance

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A Javanese warrior shows off his form

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One of the royal function halls adorned with crystal chandeliers

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Opulence and grandeur

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A palace guard motions visitors to the right entrance

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Before entering the royal presence, you will be given a final opportunity to examine yourself in this large mirror.

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Exquisite touches of golden leaves, intricate wood carvings, and a classic crystal chandelier

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Door leading to the inner sanctums of the palace

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Songgobuwono Tower serves as a watchtower and also as a place for meditation

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Parade of royal guards

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Opulent chandeliers

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The Coat of Arms of Keraton Surakarta

For more information about Keraton Solo, visit http://kratonsurakarta.com/

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8 thoughts on “Keraton Solo in Pictures

  1. i try not to regret of not going there while reading this post.
    nagpunta pala kayo sa royal thingy. hehehe! nice. :)

    i seriously like your captures! mostly in motion, ang galing!

  2. thank you docgelo! the keraton was already in a state of disrepair but just the same, you can feel its glorious past. and i saw that the people of solo are proud of their heritage. one of my best travels, this one was.

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