A tour inside palace of Sultan HB X of Yogyakarta

CAIRO – 1 November 2018: Despite the fact that Indonesia obtained its independence on August 17, 1945, a part of its land is still being ruled by a sultan.
Sri Hamengkubuwana X, aka Sultan HB X of Yogyakarta, holds the position of the governor of the Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta (DIY), which is located on the Island of Java.
The 73-year-old Sultan HB X has five daughters with a 66-year-old wife. He was the only sultan of the royal family to ban polygamy. A debatable issue on his successor was raised recently as he has no sons to inherit the throne and rule Yogyakarta.
So, ruling of Yogyakarta could be whether in the hands of his eldest daughter or his younger brother, who currently occupies the position of vice-president of the province (deputy governor position).
Sultan HB X has many brothers and sisters. His father, who died in October 1988 of heart attack, had 22 children with five wives.
Egypt Today went on a tour in the Royal Palace of the -could be- last Sultan of Yogyakarta. The palace that depicts the Javanese culture is also called the Kraton of Yogyakarta.
At the entrance of the Kraton, a symbol bearing the initial letters of the sultan’s name welcomes the visitors. Hamengkubuwana means in Bahasa “the King of Responsibility,” said a tour guide.
The Symbol of Sultan's same at the entrance of the Palace- Egypt Today- Samar Samir.jpg
The sultan has his own guards at the entrance of the 262-year-old palace.
Special guards of the Sultan-Egypt Today- Samar Samir
Despite the fact that the palace is one of the most famous touristic sites in Yogyakarta, the sultan's family is living in it. The family lives in a private building named "The Yellow House" which is opened for the public only a few hours from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm. At 2:00 pm, the royal family starts their private life.
The palace was built in 1756, and the first restoration was carried out in 1998.
Tourists having coffee in a square-shaped hall- Egypt Today-Samar Samir
Beside the Yellow House, lies a square-shaped reception where the sultan holds special ceremonies.
In the middle of the palace, which spans over an area of 2 hectares, the sultan’s museum is located. It is a big golden hall that used to be a reception hall for weddings and other traditional ceremonies.
The sultan’s administrative office is 1 kilometer away from the Kraton.
Golden engravings represent Javanese culture in Kraton ceiling – Egypt Today-Samar Samir
“This is the oldest car in the palace. It is the sultan's golden carriage. It was used in wedding transportation, but it is not used anymore because it is very heavy and needs 20 people to carry it. Now, all carriages are moved by horses. The [other] carriages are in a museum 500 meters away from the palace,” said the tour guide.
The oldest car in the palace. It is the golden carriage for the Sultan- Egypt Today- Samar Samir
HB I had converted to Islam from Buddhism and the palace was built in the Buddhist style, Harryansah Khairul, an official from the Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s Directorate of Middle East Affairs, told Egypt Today during the tour.
HB IV’s Museum
The entrance wall features HB IV’s symbol. The symbol has nine wings which represent wisdom; the number of wings increases with the coronation of a new Sultan.
The sultan's father was born in 1912. During Sukarno’ rule, he was the financial minister. Now, after Sukarno stepped down, the governor of Yogyakarta was exempted of many duties as he should have only one executive duty.
The father was a military leader and fought for independence which was obtained on August 17, 1945 after the second war with Japan.
In his father’s museum, there is a big photo of young Sultan IV who studied law in Holland. After the independence declaration, the father was appointed minister of finance.
The biggest royal family
The biggest family was that of Sultan VII. He had 28 wives and 78 children.
The tour guide referred that Sultan VII used to drink a traditional herbal tea which boosts fertility, adding that this tea was “the viagra of their time.”
Sultan HB VII had three queens and many concubines. He had his own room that none of his wives shared with him.
The biggest family in the history of the world is of the Chinese emperor who had 100 children, the tour guide added.
As for Sultan HB VIII, he had 48 children. He expanded the palace for his family to span on an area of 40,000 cubic meters.
“It was like a city with his private shopping mall. As he loved playing football, he had two big square-shaped playgrounds. He also had a private jungle because hunting was one of his hobbies,” the tour guide pointed out.
The sultan’s antique collections:
Inside one of the ten museums of the palace, gold statues from the royal family collection are exhibited.
The dear represents good power, while the peacock stands for wisdom.
Another museum exhibits a collection of gifts and presents given to the royal family from world leaders.
Sultan’a alarm for emergency call- Egypt Today – Samar Samir
The palace also includes a small place for teaching children and a library that is still being restored.
It is not known yet who will inherit these Javanese antiquities once the current sultan dies. Maybe his oldest daughter could be the first queen of the province or his younger brother. Who knows?