1000 stories of Java history in Ullen Sentalu Museum

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Ullen Sentalu saves a bunch of interesting stories that had been buried behind the walls of the palace of Yogyakarta and Solo. Javanese culture Ullen Sentalu Museum, located on Jl. Boyong in the Upper Ground area of Yogyakarta. Ullen Sentalu name is an acronym for a well-known adage in the Java language “Ulating Blencong Sejatine Tatarane Lumaku” which means a guidance lamp-life.

So named “Ullen Sentalu” because the museum was founded to be a "lamp" for the Javanese people so as not to forget their rich history and culture. The museum was founded in the 1980's by Ulating Blencong Foundation, a foundation that aims to preserve the tradition and history of the Solo and Yogyakarta palace.

The museum is built on 1.7 hectares land area. Iti is designed by DR. Samuel Wedyadiningrat, DSB.Konk, a cancer surgeon at the Darmais Hospital and chairman of the Foundation Ulating Blencong at that time.

Initial stand, the museum may only be visited by family palace. It was only in 1997 the museum opened to the public. When launched, it’s not many people are aware of the existence of this museum. Even today, the existence of this museum is "hiding" from the general public views.

Because originally not intended for public consumption, the museum is located in an area that is rather difficult to reach, located on the hill, while there is only one marker of the way to this museum, prints the letters on the bookmark and even then had begun to fade, so a bit difficult to read. People who had first visited had a lot to ask for not getting lost.

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To enter, the cost is relatively expensive. The museum put tariffs of Rp 15,000 for school and university students, and 25.000 to the public. While foreign tourists have to pay Rp. 50,000 to get into the museum.

But in fact the amount of money needed was very commensurate with the services provided by the museum. No matter how small a group, the museum provides a guide to guiding each of the entourage.

The museum is divided into seven major sections: Welcome Room, Guwo Selo Giri, a basement which have a similarity with Gothic architecture, Kampung Kambangan (or village on the water), Parks, and a gallery called the Academic Modern Art Gallery.

Kampung Kambangan divided into several small rooms: The Tinneke room, Paes Ageng Yogyakarta room, Vorstendlanden Batik room, Batik Coastal room and Gusti Nurul room.

The first room, Welcome Room, a kind of "heating space" which gives a rough idea of the museum contents as a whole to the visitor. The room nicely styled with a slightly dim lighting. Inside the corner of this room is a picture of mother Hartini, fourth wife of President Soekarno.

This room is also displaying photographs of Cephass Kassian, who is considered as the first photographer in Indonesia. The photographs display the figure of sensual certain women plantation workers.

The next room is Guwo Selo Giri, displaying pictures of royal figures. In this room, visitors also get small interest stories such as how Hamengkubuwono IX used to be called Prince Heng by a landlord. Or Pakubuwono 12 which is also often called Bobby by his Dutch friends.

When Indonesia proclaimed its independence, the kingdom of Yogyakarta is still shaped. Hamengkubuwono IX and Pakubuwono XII initiated the merging of Yogyakarta in Indonesia. Because of this President Sukarno then give the status of Special Region to Yogyakarta.

In this room is also framed the photo of Pakubuwono X, the richest king on the island of Java. In 1907 he became the first person who can afford to buy a car. Pakubuwono X has two consorts, 39 concubines and 63 children.

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Towards the other museums, Kampung Kambangan or village on the water, visitors will be invited to enter into several small rooms. One is the Gusti Nurul room. This room displays photos of Gusti Nurul in various ages, as well as the usual items used while still in the palace.

Gusti Nurul life story is quite interesting to note, she was born in 1921 by the Eastern Empress, consort of Mangkunegara VII. At birth her parents gave her the name of Gusti Raden Ayu Siti Nurul Kamari Nasaratih Kusumawardhani. Despite growing behind the walls of the palace, the princess who schooled in the Dutch school has a style and outlook that count very modern for its time.

The princess was fond of riding (something which was very taboo for a princess palace), also swam, and very adept at playing tennis. Her father agrees with her daughter's penchant for buying a particular horse from Australia.

Gusti Nurul grown into a beautiful and intelligent girl, she did not hesitate to express her opinion. There is much to admire to the princess, President Sukarno was one of them. President Sukarno was very fascinated with the princess, to the point that when she was invited to Vila Cipanas, he specifically requested the painter Basuki Abdullah to immortalize Gusti Nurul figure in the painting. The painting was later displayed in President Sukarno work room at the Vila Cipanas.

Another thing that is very special, Gusti Nurul was the first daughter who explicitly rejects polygamy. Because of this strict view Gusti Nurul just about to get married when she turned thirty years old. Currently Gusti Nurul who has aged eighty-six years is living in Bandung.

Kambangan Village still has a few more other rooms that are specifically told about batik. While the last room, Paes Ageng room, featuring bridal clothing and paintings related to the usual wedding that held in the sultanate.

For a comfortable visit to round the museum, it takes about an hour. Visitors will get a complete story about many objects and interesting characters who have given color in the course of Yogyakarta and Solo history palace.

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