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Sultan Palace

The palace court with its grand and elegant Javanese architecture lies in the center of the city. It was founded by Prince Mangkubumi in 1755. The Prince was then called Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I. He chose the right location of the compound between the Winongo River and the 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 the Pagelaran, where formal meetings of palace officials are held, while the "Manguntur Tingkil" hall is the place where the Sultan is seated. The palace 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.

The word Kraton (or Keraton) originates from the word ke-ratu-an that means in Indonesian the place where the queen/king lives. It has a broad meaning, all royal palaces were denoted with this name.

The principal residence of the sultan of Yogyakarta is the palace (Kraton) occupying the center of the town.The enormous building was added to the tentative list of World Heritage Sites. The palace complex consists of large courtyards and pavilions. Some of the buildings are open to the public, these contain exhibitions showing gifts of European kings, funishing items , replicas of the treasures of the palace and personal belongings of the sultans.

When the Indonesian independence was proclaimed, the former sultan became the Governor of Yogyakarta. The Special Region of Yogyakarta was created after the independence war ended and legalized on August 3, 1950. The Regional Government carries out the responsibilities and authorities of the central government, while on other hand it has its own autonomous responsibilities and authorities. The first Governor was Hamengkubuwana IX ruling between 1944 and 1988. The current Sultan is Hamengkubuwono X.