Vorstenlanden Tour of Ullen Sentalu Museum
Vorstenlanden was a Dutch term for the Islamic Mataram kingdom, which means the King's land or territory.
The Vorstenlanden Tour starts by walking through the back door of the lobby to a courtyard called Pelataran Tawang Turgo. Massive stone statues, reliefs, and a small waterfall adorn this courtyard. The educator explained that local children learn traditional Javanese dances and perform in this place. We walked across this courtyard to the backyard, where several independent buildings are connected with stone paths.
Adiluhung Mataram tour Rp.50,000
Vorstenlanden tour Rp.100,000
English guided tour Rp.100,000
The first place we visited was called Djagad Gallery (Djagad is a Javanese word for the universe). First, we went down steep and narrow stairs into an underground passage. The atmosphere changed instantly from creepy to a wow moment when the educator turned on the light. There lay before us is a modern-day gallery.
We entered a corridor with two framed maps of Java hanging on each side. They were old maps of Java, where you could see the territories of ancient kingdoms. The educator recounted the history of these kingdoms, starting with the glorious days in the Kingdom of Medang, also known as the Ancient Mataram. They built many magnificent temples, such as Borobudur, Prambanan, Sewu, Kalasan, Gedong Songo, and Dieng. Once upon a time, their territory spread beyond the land of Java and reached Cambodia.
Over the years, war and natural disasters destroyed this kingdom. The land was divided into new but smaller kingdoms. Centuries later, it became Vorstenlanden, which comprised four kingdoms: Kraton Kasultanan Yogyakarta, Kasunanan Surakarta, Mangkunegaran, and Pakualaman. They came from one ancestor, so they have some similarities but are different at the same time.
At the end of this story, we moved on to the main room, where portraits of late kings and paintings are on display. Then, we moved to Sasana Sekar Bawana, as she continued to regal the story of the renowned kings and the royal traditions. At one point, she showed us the differences between the royal bride from Kasultanan Yogyakarta and Kasunanan Surakarta. Everything in their bridal costumes, makeup, and accessories symbolized something deep and meaningful.