Tucked away in the panoramic mountain region of Kaliurang on the slopes of Mount Merapi is a one-of-a-kind museum that houses the history of the modern Mataram Dynasty, comprising the royal houses of the Sunan of Solo , Prince Mangkunegaran, and the Sultan of Yogya and the Prince of Paku Alam.
Officially opened on 1 March 1997 it took five years to prepare since 1994. The Museum, which also houses intangible heritage that covers expressions, knowledge, representations and skills, is the initiative of Haryono and comes under the auspices of the Ulating Blencong Institute.
Blending perfectly with its natural surroundings, its walls and floors are made of stones that were spewed by the Merapi volcano, now found abundantly in the surrounding rivers.
There is a restaurant in these premises built in Dutch style called: Beukenhof. The restaurant offers appetizers, main course and drinks. Taking your meal at this restaurant offers an unforgettable experience.
Here are a number of halls, namely the entrance lobby, The room for Dance and Gamelan music, the Sela Giri cave, 5 rooms at the Kampung Kambang village, the Retja Landa corridor, and the Hall of Culture.
A guide will take you around the museum, starting from the Lobby which describes the establishment of the museum and a statue of the goddess of rice and agriculture, Dewi Sri, symbol of fertility. Next follow the Dance and Gamelan room where are displayed sets of gamelan instruments and paintings of court dancers.
In the Sela Giri Cave are paintings of four royal personalities of the 4 royal houses of Mataram. The Kampung Kambang village stands on a pool on which stand rooms called the Ode to Tineke, princess, daughter of Sunan Pakubowono XI; the Royal Room of Ratoe Mas, the Vorstenlanden Batik room, the Batik Pesisiran (Coastal batiks) room, and the room of Putri Dambaan. At the Sasana Sekar Bawana are paintings of past Mataram Sultans and Sunans, a number of statues, as well as utensils and methods showing the special make up and dress of royal brides and grooms of the houses of Solo and Yogya, altogether beautifully surrounded by cooling plants and verdant trees.
At the end of the tour, visitors receive a special drink, a favorite of sultans, royal princes and princesses called “Ratu Mas”.
This is a drink made of secret ingredients taken from seven different herbs that provide wellness and youthfulness, confides the guide.
This Museum offers to visitors the complete atmosphere of having been in one of the palaces in the Mataram kingdom of yore, steeped in Javanese culture, rich in history and arts, set amongst beautiful and serene surroundings.