Exploring Yogyakarta will never end because it has many beautiful and historical places to visit and learn. Malioboro, Sultan palace, Gembiraloka zoo, Kaliurang, and Merapi mountain are some of the tourism destinations in Yogyakarta. Kota Gede, One of Yogyakarta parts to visit is well-known as a silver city due to its silver industrial products. In fact, it is actually a historical place concerning with Islamic Mataram kingdom. In addition, it is as a traditional market that provides a various items and traditional food.
The history of the place started in 1586. That time, Panembahan Senopati established Islamic Mataram kingdom capital city. Under Sultan Agung administration, the kingdom created history of powerful aggression to Batavia to drive Dutch colonizers away. The aggression was noted as one of the greatest aggression against Dutch during 350 years of colonialism history in Indonesia. In 1613, Sultan Agung removed the center of Islamic Mataram kingdom to Karta near Plered; therefore, kota Gede as the center of Islamic Mataram kingdom ended.
Even though it was not the center of Islamic Mataram kingdom anymore, it remains crowded. There are some historical relics in Kota Gede such as grave of the kingdom founders, Kota Gede mosque, and Java-architectured traditional houses. Even, the ruins of castle can be found there.
Traditional market of Kota Gede is one of the relics that still operate. Every Legi morning (in Java calendar) people do selling and buying. The building has already been renovated, but the position is not removed. You can find Yangko, a traditional food, here.
Besides, the atmosphere of traditional market is felt very much.
Next, complex of Mataram kingdom founders’ grave, surrounded by strong and high wall can be found in 100 m to the South of Kota Gede traditional market. The complex includes the grave of Sultan Hadiwijaya, Ki Gede Pamanahan, Panembahan Senopati, and his family. The gates are Hinduism-architectured. Every single gate has a thick wooden door and is decorated with beautiful carved objects. To enter it, visitors must wear Java traditional dress that is able to be rented there. Visitors can enter the grave only every Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday from 8 AM to 4 PM. For honor, visitors are prohibited to take photos and wear jewelry.
Visiting Kota Gede is not perfect if we don’t see the mosque, the oldest mosque in Yogyakarta. It is still located around the grave complex. Besides, we should also go to a traditional houses exactly located in front of grave complex. If you walk 50 m to the South, you will see gate written “cagar budaya”. Just enter it, you will find Kota Gede traditional houses which are still taken care well and used for living.
The last, there is KEDHATON building that houses ‘Watu Gilang” in the form of square stone. Also, you can find “Watu Cantheng’, three yellowish stones. The people around assume that they were toys belonging to Panembahan Senopati’s son.
Actually there are more things as relics or Islamic Mataram kingdom a part from a silver city. Just visit it and feel the real history and amazement of Kota Gede. Visiting Jogja without going to Kota Gede will make your tour incomplete.