Posted : 08 Maret 2010
Oleh : yogyes.com
Dilihat 10,193 kali
Tags : Old City | Kotagede City | Silver Handicrafts
Kotagede, Enchantment of an Old City
The victory of Ki Gede Pemanahan over Arya Penangsang who was in opposition to the King of Pajang was the beginning of the foundation of Mataram Islam Kingdom. Thanks to Ki Ageng Pemanahan who helped Pajang, the King of Pajang rewarded him a forest named Mentaok where he built Mataram Islam Kingdom in 1575 with his people called mentawisan.
Located around 10 kilometers at the sout heastern part of Yogyakarta city center, the area is now well known as Kotagede as the center of silver handicrafts in Yogyakarta. Keeping around 170 old buildings built in 1700 to 1930, "Kotagede is not only named Silver City but an Old Capital City" as Achmad Charris Zubair, a Kotagede cultural observer, said.
Entering Kotagede from the north through Gedong Kuning, a small street framed with classical buildings along both sides look like an exotic opening for tourists after going through the gate.
Since entering Kotagede area, tourists begin to enjoy various kinds silver handicrafts at various prices sold at the front part of local people's house functioning as the gallery at the same time. Most of the houses are in traditional Javanese architecture called Joglo.
Silver handicraft is a culture descended by the ancestor to the next generations. Initially, handicrafts in Kotagede were made of gold, silver and copper. By the coarse of time, however, silver is most preferred. For the reason, craftsmen make more silver handicrafts until today. This handicraft is exported to foreign countries, mainly to Europe. Order is usually increasing by the year end.
Please drop by at the gallery to see various kinds of handicraft, ranging from jewelry, silver ornament and utensils that are made with artistic touch of Kotagede silversmiths. Warm smile and greeting are pleasant reception to begin the exploration through Kotagede.
The Tomb of Old Mataram Kingdom Founder
To the south village, there is a traditional market named Pasar Gede. Even though the architecture of the building is simple, the traditional market built in Panembahan Senopati time has been one of economy activities of mentawisan community. For this reason, Kotagede used to be known as Pasar Gede or Sargede.
Around 50 meters south of Pasar Gede on Masjid Besar Street, there is a gate with long fort protecting one of Mataraman triumph sites in the past that is still well taken cared of. Some banyan trees with long hanging roots telling its old age looks like the guardians of the sacred place. Passing through the second gate there is two-meter high wall with passages on both sides that cuts off the view of the third gate as the entrance to Masjid Agung (The Great Mosque) complex.
At the center of the complex, there is a Great Mosque surrounded by the houses of the court servants. The mosque was built by Sultan Agung with his local people - most of them were Hindus and Buddhists - so that much of the architecture adopted typical Hindu and Buddha architecture. One of it is the mosque gate that is carved like vihara. Most of the wooden carvings at each corner of the mosque are of Hindu and Buddha style. This is unique to the mosque. There is also a pulpit with unique carving in the mosque as tribute from Palembang Regent to Sultan Agung.
To the south of the mosque there is tomb complex of the predecessors of Mataram Kingdom and their families that used to be dwelling place of Ki Ageng Pemanahan.
Passing through the second gate there is a complex functioning as border as well as connecting line to the tomb and Sendang Saliran (place for bathing). There are office, warehose, bangsal pengapit lor (north framing hall) and bangsal pengapit kidul (south framing hall) in this complex.
To the west of the complex there is a gate leading to the tomb complex. Entering this complex, tourists must wear Javenese traditional clothes and say prayer before opening the tomb gate. Passing by around 720 tombs, tourists will be led to the main building where the Court Big Family was buried. Some of the predecessors are Nyai Ageng Nis and Pangeran Djoyo Prono who were grandparents of Panembahan Senopati, Ki Gede Pemanahan (the father of Panembahan Senopati), Panembahan Senopati and Kyai Wonoboyo Mangir, the son in law as well as enemy of Panembahan Senopati whose tomb is unique because part of it is outside the complex. The story tells that Kyai Ageng Mangir was killed by Panembahan Senopati with his head being bumped to the stone functioning as the throne of Panembahan Senopati. The stone is seen 100 meters away to the south of the mosque.
Muji, one of the court servants, tells YogYES that visitors usually say prayer in each tomb of the King to ask for blessing, safety and success.
Meanwhile, to the south of the tomb there is a place for bathing that is divided into Sendang Kakung for men and Sendang Putri for women. "Bathing in this place can cure some illness and gift of success and prosperity," Muji adds.
After religious visit to the tomb, visitors may visit one of the old houses built by the late Pawiro Suwarno, who was a rich entrepreneur in Kotagede, in 1920s. This house is well known as Rumah Kalang (Kalang House). Kalang are people invited by the King to become carvers of court jewelries.
The uniqueness of this Kalang House is unification of Javanese and European elements, namely joglo as the main building that is located at the back part and European model for the front part. This European building tends to be of baroque shape with Corinthian and Doric styles. The joglo building, especially the hall is not open as the joglo of Javanese house anymore; it is modified as being closed. Green and yellow colors of the relief are not Javanese colors anymore. The presence of colorful glasses as the mosaics connecting the pillars shows that this joglo has received other touch.
This house with mixture of Javanese and European styles now belongs to Ansor family and it is located 300 meters north of Pasar Gede. While enjoying the architecture beauty of the past time, tourists can buy silver handicrafts carved by skillful hands and enjoy delicious meals in Ansor family's house as the biggest silver gallery in Kotagede and a restaurant without changing the original shape of the house.
Special Cuisines and Menus
Talking about delicious meals, it is not complete yet before trying special menu of Kotagede, namely Sate Karang. This name is given after the name of the village that is Karang Village, where Prapto sells this food from evening till night. This is sweet, grilled beef with two uniqueness. First uniqueness is the choice of three sauces, namely peanut sauce, ketchup sauce and kocor sauce. Kocor sauce is chili sauce like the sweet sauce for rujak (mixed fruits). The second uniqueness is the beras kencur beverage (made of rice and greater galingale).
Before leaving Kotagede, do not forget to buy kipo, special food of Kotagede, made from rice flour and filled with sweet coconut grates, shaped as big as human fingers and served on banana leaf. (YogYES.COM: R. Syah)