29 Jan


KEMBANG WARU CAKE. Kembang Waru is one of the traditionsl cakes in Kotagede Yogyakarta. This cake has shape like a waru leaf. Waru tree has latin name Hibiscus (Kembang Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium, 2009). There is no written study about this cake until now, but there is one version about this cake.

kotagede kembang waru cakeAccording to Story of Kotagede people that , this cake was served when a king or wealthy person was holding a wedding party. It was served to the guest of the party or was just simply served as snack while they were waiting for lunch or dinner. Kembang Waru itself actually has similarity with muffin; because of its soft texture and the ingredient. It can be said that this cake is an ancient muffin recipes.

27 Jan


TRADITIONAL MARKET KOTAGEDE TRADITIONAL MARKET KOTAGEDE. The traditional market that was built in 1578 named Pasar Legi is the most famous place for foreign visitors. It was the first market in the Old Mataram Kingdom Era. Now, it is just an ordinary traditional market for the local citizens. However, most tourists said the place is wonderful.

They could see uniques things that only can be found there. For example the bargaining process, local spices (like jahe, kunyit, kapulaga, and ect), Jamu, javanese tobaco, traditional foods, traditional kitchen utensils, and many more. Besides, they could have real experiences by direct interactions with local citizens there. The last but not least, this is the good place for taking a lot of Human Interest photos.


27 Jan


OLD MOSQUE MATARAM KOTAGEDEOLD MOSQUE MATARAM KOTAGEDE.   The great mosque (Masjid gede) of Kotagede is the largest monument attributed to the kingdom of Mataram, therefore it is nowadays called the Mataram Mosque. The mosque was first established in 1575, the death year of Ki Ageng Pemanahan. The first major rebuilding was carried out during the reign of Sultan Agung to honor his ancestors. Rulers of Mataram, Surakarta and Yogyakarta conducted several rehabilitation later on. The last major rebuilding was performed in 1926 under the order of Sunan Pakubuwana X after this mosque had been caught in fire.

The mosque was built in traditional Javanese architecture. It consists of a pair of buildings: the main prayer hall and a front hall commonly called serambi. The prayer hall is a building of thick plain walls, while the serambi is a porch-like semi-attached building. Surrounding the porch is a moat to enable one to dip his or her feet before reaching the serambi, symbolically purifying anything that enters the mosque.

The mosque is situated right to the east of the royal cemetery. The mosque area is a vast yard of sawo kecik (Manilkara kauki) trees, the two main buildings cover less than one tenth of the entire area.

A gate separates the great mosque and the royal cemetery complex. The area before the gate is called the Sendang Seliran complex.

Mosque that is older than Kauman Great Mosque has a unique, beautifully carved speaker’s platform, a hundred-years drum, and sugar palm juice-cemented wall.

Wandering through Kotagede will be complete only if you have visited the Kotagede Mosque, the oldest building for Moslems to say their prayer in Yogyakarta. This building is often skipped by tourists who are going to the cemetery complex of Mataram Kings, whereas in fact the building is not less enchanting. In fact, there are stories of the instruments in the mosque that was built in 1640s.

Before entering the complex of the mosque – in the parking area – you will see a banyan tree that has been there for hundreds years so that people name it “Waringin Sepuh” that means an old banyan tree. This tree will bring luck to anyone who is praying under it when he or she gets two leaves with one facing up and the other facing down.

Approaching the mosque complex, you will find a gateway. Right in front of the gate, there is wall in the shape of L letter. Some pictures symbolizing the kingdom are carved on it. Such buildings represent Sultan Agung’s tolerance to local inhabitants who embraced Hinduism and Buddhism and took part in building the mosque.

Entering the mosque yard, you will see green inscription as high as 3 meters signifying mosque renovation done by Paku Buwono. The base of the inscription is of square form and on top of it is the crown as the symbol of Surakarta Kingdom. A clock functioning as time reference for praying is attached to the southern side of the inscription.

We learn from the inscription that Kotagede mosque was built in two stages. The first work done during Sultan Agung reign was small mosque that was called langgar because of the size. The second building was done by Paku Buwono X, the King of Surakarta Kingdom. The difference of those two building lies on the poles; the one built by Sultan Agung was with wooden poles while the other done by Paku Buwono X was with iron poles.

The main part of the mosque is of Javanese style namely limasan that is characterized by pyramid-form of the roof and two different rooms functioning as main room and verandah respectively.

You will see ditch encircling the mosque before you enter the main building of the mosque. It functions as drainage for the water flowing from a place where people take water from the north part of the mosque to clean them before praying. Now, the ditch functions as fishpond after being renovated with porcelains being fitted to the base of it. In order to ease people to enter the building, small bridge is constructed of woods arranged side by side.

Outside of the main building of the mosque, there is an old drum placed beside a kentongan (traditional Javanese wooden drum that is struck to sound alarm). The drum that is as old as the mosque was a present from Nyai Pringgit from Dondong village of Kulon Progo Regency. Thanks to her presence, her descendents were rewarded privilege to stay in the area around the mosque that later was named Dondongan. The drum is in use this time as time signal for praying.

There is a speaker platform made of finely carved wood inside the mosque, beside the place where imam leads the prayer. The platform was given by Sultan Agung who got it when he visited a Regent in Palembang on his return from Mecca. It is now rarely used in order to keep it from being damaged. For daily uses, people replace it with small platform.

Walking around the mosque, you will see different encircling walls. The left wall was constructed of bigger bricks in size with brighter color and marble-looking stone on the surface with Javanese writings on it. The other wall on the other part is of less bright bricks with smaller size and no decoration on it. The left wall was built during Sultan Agung reign while the other wall was the result of the renovation done by Paku Buwono X. The wall constructed during Sultan Agung reign was cemented by using the juice of sugar palm for stronger bound.

This old mosque still looks vivid to the present time. People make use of it form religious activities. When praying time comes, many people will come to it. After praying, many of them stay there to communicate to each other, to learn Koran or even to take a nap.


27 Jan


KOTAGEDE ROYAL CEMETERYKOTAGEDE ROYAL CEMETERY. Hastorenggo cemetery, a 1930s cemetery complex for the descendants of royal family of Kraton Yogyakarta. The royal cemetery is named Makam (Pasareyan) Hasta Kitha Ageng. It is located to the west of the Great Mosque. It is the most intact part of Kotagede. Chronicles mention that Senapati’s father, Ki Gedhe Mataram, was buried to the west of the mosque and Senapati himself was buried to the south of the mosque, in the direction of his father’s feet.

Other important people buried in the cemetery is Sultan Hadiwijaya. The cemetery is guarded and maintained by Juru Kunci who are employed by the two palaces of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. The portal to the cemetery has the feature of Hindu architecture, each portal contains a thick wooden handle heavily decorated with carvings.

The walled cemetery does not act as a physical protection of the tomb treasure from robbery, as the tradition to accompany the death with valuables stopped existing in Java since the introduction of Islam. Rather these enclosures separate the realm of the dead from those of the living.

Another royal cemetery on site is Hastorenggo cemetery. Built in 1934, it is the royal cemetery for the descendants of Kraton Yogyakarta and is still used today.

Kotagede, which is often, called Sargede lies about five km southeast of Yogyakarta. In this old-city, tourist can visit the cemetery of the Mataram Kings like Sutowijoyo, also known as Ngabei Loring Pasar the founder of the Mataram kingdom who was then called Panembahan Senopati. There is also the unique tomb of Ki Ageng Mangir. He was Panembahan Senopati’s son in law and his enemy at the same time. His body was buried outside the complex. A hundred meters away from the tomb, there is a stone called “Watu Gilang”, the stone on which Panembahan Senopati smashed the head of Ki Ageng Mangir to dead.

Those who want to go inside the cemetery have to wear traditional clothes that one can hire there. Kotagede Royal Cemetery opens on Monday at 10 am – 12 am, and at 01.30 pm – 4 pm on Friday. In addition to cemetery, there are “graceful gates”; ponds will be full of Clarius Melenodermas and yellow turtle. This turtle is hundred years of age and also had had believed as a sacred miraculous turtle.