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