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Mount Merapi

Mount Merapi (Gunung Merapi, 2911m) is a volcano in Central Java, looming over the cities of Yogyakarta, Magelang, Klaten, and Boyolali.

Literally "Mountain of Fire", Mount Merapi is the most active volcano in all Indonesia — no mean feat — and it has erupted at least 68 times since 1548. The volcano is though to be largely responsible for the downfall of the Hindu Mataram kingdom in 1006 and the desertion of the huge temple complex at nearby Prambanan. Recent eruptions include 1994 (64 killed), 2006 (no immediate deaths, but a prelude to an earthquake that killed over 5000) and 2010 (30 dead).

Anyone thinking of climbing the mountain must first check if it is safe to do so. While climbing the mountain with a qualified guide is recommended it is not necessary or mandatory (locals will tell you otherwise in the interest of a quick buck) as the track to the summit is wide and clearly marked.