“Kraton” (or Keraton) is an ancient word derived from “ke-ratu-an”, which literally pertains to the place where the king or queen lives. In other words, it is the grand palace. Kraton Yogyakarta or Kraton Jogja pertains to the palace of the Sultan of Yogyakarta. It was constructed in 1755 when the city was handed over to the sultanate of Pangeram Mangkubumi, the first sultan of Yogyakarta, based on the Giyanti Agreement. Mangkubumi was the first king to reside in Kraton Jogja. His title as sultan was Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I.
Kraton is the most important building in the city, not only politically but also philosophically. It is strategically located between the Tugu monument (5 km away) and Krapyak Village (2 km), between Code River and Winongo River, and between the Merapi Mountain and the South Sea. The rivers protect it from the floods, since the builders know that it always rains and floods in the city. For the local Javanese, not only is Kraton in the middle of the city, it is also at the center of the universe. The Tugu monument is a symbol of lingga (or lingam, which pertains to the male sex organ), while Krapyak is a symbol of yoni (female sex organ). Kraton, therefore, is human life itself, the product of the lingga and yoni. [Read more…]