The fabric of Java boasts a dazzling array of multi-colored, multi-textured and multi-patterned history from the time of the first empire's dominion over the island. Since that ancient era, Java has bared witness to the rise and fall of numerous empires, sung to the tune of the world's major religions (Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic), staged spectacular wars and annexations, flamed stories of love and betrayal and of mystical powers and beings - in short, Java has seen it all. What is most fascinating is that the lineage of these ancient rulers and empires still continue to this day in the manifestation of the existing rule of the Sultanate in Yogyakarta and what better way to experience this than with a trip to the Keraton (Sultan Palace).
The Kraton stands at the center of Javanese culture, a living museum that attests to both its past influence and present day relevance. It is at the heart of the preservation and development of Javanese culture where ceremonial rites and traditions are followed almost religiously today as it was in years past. Furthermore, its efforts at sustaining an imperishable culture is apparent to visitors in its weekly scheduled Sunday performances of the Gamelan orchestra and traditional Javanese dances, in the poetry readings and puppet shows held regularly within the grounds of the palace open to visitors.
Other sites that allow a deeper understanding of the history of Java include the famous Taman Sari or Water Palace and the royal cemetery in Kotagede.
The tour is designed to give you a condensed and digestible journey through Javanese history. Our guide Yulia is a keen history writer, having done extensive research on Javanese history for a book she wrote. As a result she is well equipped, to give you a holistic picture of Javanese history.