Home Yogyakarta City Taman Sari Water Castle
Taman Sari means beautiful park. It is about ten minutes walk from the Sultan's Palace south-west ward. Sultan Hamengku Buwono I in 1757 built this park. He created a new style that was a combination and a mixture of Javanese and Portuguese architecture. Taman sari was once a beautiful and sophisticated water-park. The area around the park eastward to the city quarters called "Kampung Segaran" was once full of water. This place is now called Suryoputran. Segaran is a Javanese word means a man-made ocean or an artificial sea. Every time the Sultan visited the park, he went there by rowing a private canoe through the suspension bridge called "Kreteg Gantung" which lay in front of the Palace gate, southward or northward of Kemandungan. The remained building that was once connected by the suspension bridge can still be seen nowadays. Besides water transportation, there was also an underground passage or alley from the Sultan Palace leading to one of the park buildings which called Pasarean Ledok Sari. The castle once has a place for relaxation and entertainment as well, a unique mechanism of defence.
Because the water which flows within Taman Sari was not only to beautify the castle, but it also functioned as a secret weapon for avoiding dangers. Whenever the enemies attacked, Sultan and his family would flee away through the underground passage. When all Sultan's family was already in a safe place, the Watergate would be opened and the water would overflow the passages, so that enemy would be sunk.
One part of the place was called Pulau Kenanga because in the front yard of the building grown Kenanga trees (Canangium Odoratum). The flowers spread out the sweet fragrance through all parts of the park. The lofty buildings such as the pond were built especially for the Sultan and his family as a bath-place. Recent restoration has been done on the underground passage leading to the west area, the bulwark that is encircled the area of the Palace, and another path, which lead southward to a small village, called Krapyak.
Besides enjoying the old and ancient building, tourists can also visit many art shops and art galleries along the alleys.