Kotagede is an old, yet rich by culture neighborhood located in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
It is not only rich by the culture,also by the real meaning, since the thickness of the walls represents the wealth of its ancient people. Thick walls culturally give Indonesians an indication of wealth.
I’ve been living in this area for almost 20 years, and it is the greatest time of my life.
Every single piece of Kotagede is like an art performance for me, which never bores me. Back then, Kotagede was the first capital of Mataram Sultanate, built around 16th century. That’s why when you enter this neighborhood, you will find some of the remains of Mataram Sultanate such as, Mataram Royal Cemetery (Makam Raja – Raja Mataram), Mataram Royal Mosque (Masjid Gedhe Mataram) along with the Bathing Place (Sendang Seliran).
My journey starts from here; aka, the Alun-Alun Village. As soon as I step into this alley, it feels like I’m being brought to the old-time era when there were no smartphones, computers, or televisions. I went there at 2 p.m and it was so hot outside, but the mesmerizing architecture was even hotter!! And, I have to explore more. As I follow the path around town that my curiosity leads me., I walk inside the village and I’m glad I followed my intuition, it leads me to a better view of the village.
But, did you realize?
All of doors here are only half of my height; what happened? Here is the answer: you know that the Javanese are upholding respect. So, this is how they honor the owner of the house by bowing as they walk in.
I continue my journey to Mataram Royal Mosque (Masjid Gedhe Mataram). Within is the Royal Cemetery (Makam Raja – Raja) and the Bathing Place (Sendang SSeliran) inside.
Surprisingly, it is more likely to look like a Hindu Temple than a Mosque. This is common because, back then, lots of architectural aspects were influenced by the Hindu Culture.
The man in the picture above is wearing old traditional Javanese clothing. FYI, if you want to go inside the Royal Cemetery, you have to wear it, and no cameras are allowed. Here I am just standing outside of the Royal Cemetery:
Then I move on to another place owned by Rudy Persik.
A lot of people say it’s a unique building; big, even located in a very small alley. The way to get to this place is so small and it only fits two people, but nonetheless it was wonderful.
Five minutes later, I’m here at Rudy Persik’s house. Green, Antique, and mysterious are my words that could describe this…
And after walking around the building, I notice this…
A local once said, this building is rarely to be opened to the public, since it has many valuable antiques.
And right next to the Rudy Persik’s house there is a Traditional Mosque (Langgar Dhuwur)
This building was built to be a prayer house back then. Langgar Dhuwur was constructed with woods supported by columns. Nowadays, there are only two Langgar left. One is in Boharen owned by Mr. A. Charis Zubair, and the other in Jagalan owned by Mr. Dalhar Anwar.
As the sun goes down, I think this is the end of my journey. I will leave you with more pictures of Kotagede.
Kotagede is old, but its lifespan gives us the purity on the wisdom of old Jogjakarta. I hope in the future that all of these buildings keep maintained, so people all around the world can see that culture affects all of the aspects around.