The palace court with its grand and elegant Javanese architecture
lies in the center of the city. Prince Mangkubumi founded the palace in
1755. The Prince then was called Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I and he
chose the right location of the compound between Winongo River and Code
River. The palace stretches out from north to south. The front yard is
called alun-alun Utara (the North Square), and the back yard is called
Alun-alun Selatan (the South Square). The layout of the buildings shows
that the Palace, the commemorative column and Mount Merapi lie in one
line. The palace meeting hall is called Pagelaran, where formal meetings
of palace officials are held, while the "Manguntur Tingkil" hall is the
place where the Sultan is seated.
The visitors can enjoy the atmosphere of the kraton in former
times by visiting the life-size diorama of wedding ceremonies on the
palace meeting hall, performed by puppets, which are intentionally
arranged to create such an atmosphere. Sets of Javanese musical
instruments, antiques and heirlooms have made the palace of Yogyakarta
worth to visit. Many sets of gamelan music instruments, antiques, and
heirlooms make the palace of Yogyakarta the most interesting tourist
attractions in Yogyakarta. The palace of Ngayogyokarto Hadiningrat is
now the dwelling place of Sultan Hamengku Buwono X and the family.
West of the palace, there is Water Castle, built in 1758 by the
prince, Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. The Water Castle is located in the
older part of the city within walking distance from the Bird Market.
Part of the pleasure garden and castle is at present no more than an
intriguing collection of ruins, pools, arches and underground passages
enclosed by massive walls, however, the central courtyard with the
nymph-baths has been restored. A number of batik workshops line the
avenue leading to the pleasure garden's entrance.