What comes to your mind when you hear the word Yogyakarta? Yes, it’s often associated with the Borobudur and Prambanan temples, two of many cultural wonders which are shaped Yogyakarta's reputation as Indonesia’s cultural capital. As Indonesia’s one of the most popular tourist destinations, Yogyakarta, often being shorted as Jogja, has many to offer. Not only historic monuments scattered around its region, but also art performances, arts & crafts, marvelous nature, and a nice city that keeps a lot of history and charm. Yogyakarta City is worth exploring more than just Malioboro Street.


Not far from Malioboro is Kotagede, a historic neighborhood with cultural and architectural significance. It was once the capital of the Mataram Sultanate in the 16th century and played a crucial role in the history of Java. The area is rich in historical sites, including the royal cemetery of Mataram kings and several ancient temples and structures. Currently, Kotagede is known for its Javanese heritage and traditional craftsmanship.


The remnant of Kotagede's significance in the past can be seen when you are walking around its narrow streets. You will find traditional Javanese architecture, with its iconic joglo-style houses and buildings. The neighborhood offers a glimpse into traditional Javanese culture and the history of the Mataram empire. You can see locals practicing traditional arts and crafts, such as batik and wayang kulit (shadow puppetry). Many cultural events and performances take place in Kotagede, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Javanese traditions.


One of the significant historical sites in Kotagede is the royal cemetery, known as Imogiri. It is the resting place of the Mataram kings and their descendants. The cemetery is an important pilgrimage site and is known for its architecture, including underground chambers. Apart from the royal cemetery, Kotagede is home to several historic sites, including the Kotagede Mosque, which is one of the oldest mosques in Java. The architecture of these sites reflects the region's rich history.


Besides its history, the neighborhood is also known for its silverwork, and you can find numerous silver workshops and boutiques that sell intricate handcrafted jewelry and decorative items. Kotagede is particularly renowned for its silver craftsmanship. The area is often referred to as the "Silver Village." You can explore silver workshops and showrooms to watch skilled artisans create beautiful silver jewelry and crafts. Of course, you can also purchase unique silver souvenirs here. In addition to silverware, you can find other traditional Javanese products in Kotagede, such as batik textiles, handwoven fabrics, and various handicrafts. It's a great place to shop for authentic souvenirs.


The neighborhood also offers a variety of traditional Javanese dishes and street food. Don't miss the opportunity to try local specialties like gudeg (jackfruit stew), soto ayam (chicken soup), and other Javanese delicacies.


Kotagede is a unique destination in Yogyakarta, offering a blend of historical and cultural experiences. It is a place where you can explore the rich heritage of Java, witness traditional craftsmanship, and enjoy the unique architecture and artistic traditions that have been preserved for centuries.

Dada Sabra S.
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A Day in Kota Gede

Published at 11 November 2023 12:36