One of the reason why people know Solo is the City of Culture is because there is an ancient palace inside it that is so famous not only for domestic, but foreigners as well. Kraton Solo is the other name given to this palace by many people surrounding, but at present, this place have been well-known as Kasunanan Surakarta Palace or Kraton Kasunanan.
Though this beautiful palace is in the conflict in its big royal family itself, the enchantment of it never leaves the heart of everybody who likes the historical tourism spot. As an Islamic kingdom that has been established for hundred of years, Kraton Kasunanan has a unique location arrangements laying from south to north.
When we come to this palace from the north through jalan Slamet Riyadi, what we will see first is the gate called “Gladag”. You will also see two statues of Dwarapala handling cudgels in the arms at the side of the gate.
This first location is very windy because of the banyan trees standing on each side of the road to the palace. But this cold and shady path will be felt very contrast when we have come to “Alun-alun Lor”. It is the name given to yard of the palace usually used for public gathering. This square place is very large but hot with only with two banyan trees in the middle of it.
A big building without wall is the next building after the field, it is called “Pendapa”. Today, this place is usually used for holding various kind of events like art exhibition and many others. The main building or the Kraton itself is behind this Pendapa. The main building consists of museum that is also becoming the office complex of Pakubuwono, the name of King in Kasunanan Palace.
As a sacral place, we have to obey some rules when we want come into the main place complex. Several of them are that we are not allowed to use sandals, shirts without sleeves, shorts, or sunglasses.
Perharps, walk barefoot on the sand for some of us is uncommon, but it is really interesting when we enjoy it. Moreover, when we know the history of the sun we walk on, that according to the palace staff it had been taken from South Coast. So, we don’t need to go there just for feeling the same sand from that place.
If in the Gladag gate we are shaded by the banyan trees, inside the palace there are sawo kecik trees that make the air in the main palace become cold and shady. These sawo kecik have also the historical meaning that is “sarwo becik” in Javanese, and it means “everything’s good” in English.
The other uniqueness of the palace is the architecture covering the building. Kasunanan palace is the combination ancient building between Javanese and European. Netherland is called to be the most influence culture this palace. Most of the sculptures in the palace have been brought from the country. Moreover, because of the good realtionship and close relation between the palace government with the government of Netherland in the past time ago.
While the palace has become the landmark of the Solo city, the palace itself has its own landmark, it is called Panggung Songgobuwono. For some Javanese people, even this place has been believed to be the secret place to meet between the King and the Queen of South Sea or also well-known as ratu pantai Selatan.
This one is based on their believe that there is a special relatonship between the King (Pakubuwono I until now) and that Queen. And even, there is nobody know what actually is.
Kasunanan Palace became very perfect when it is match to several interesting attraction near it. For the tourists who have a great passion in shopping, they will enjoy many markets surrounding this Palace, like Pasar Klewer (Market), Beteng Trade Center, or Grosir Solo Market. Those places, especially Pasar Klewer (Market) even had become the biggest batik selling market It even had been believed to be the biggest this country.
Visiting Solo can be said never-ending visit. This city has so many interesting places to go. From the historical places, art events, to the center points of shopping. And the most popular thing to buy in this city is batik. Solo batik has been known as one of the best batik in this world. No wonder, every tourist visiting Solo never forget to get this special souvenirs.
Not only the quality, but the price is very reasonable. And the most important thing is very easy to find the place selling the batiks. Almost every shopping center in the city has many of batik shop. But, if you want to find the batik center, you can go to Kampung (Village) Batik Laweyan and you will get the origin and almost all of the high qualty batik can be found in Solo.
Kraton Solo is not only the palace completed perfectly with the beautiful batik, it has also one of the thing the tourists mostly look for. What else? It is culinary. Not only famous with the batik, Solo has also so many yummy tradisional and origin food like Timlo, tengkleng, Selat, serabi, and many others.
And all of them, of course, can be found easily in the location near the palace. That’s why it is said that this palace has been completed perfectly with the batik and also various culinary stuffs.
If this is your first time visit, don’t be worry, it won’t be so difficult to find all those places selling batik and foods. You can only believe in “becak” to show you and get you there. Well-known as humble people, Solo citizens will be very grateful to answer your question during your stay. Please, feel free to ask anyone you meet in this town.
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