Home Kraton Yogyakarta Kraton or the Palace where Sultan and his family of Yogyakarta live is located in the center of the axis stretching from the north to the south, and in the secondary axis from the east to the west. It is encircled by row of the mountains called the Horizon as the border of the universe. It lies between Tugu as the north border and Panggung Krapyak as the south border, between Code River in the east and Winongo River in the west; between the Merapi Mountain and the South Sea. In the mind of the Javanese community, kraton is defined as center of the world that is described as center of the universe.
After the Giyanti Agreeement, Yogyakarta territory was given to Pangeran Mangkubumi. To run his governance, he built a palace in 1755 in Hutan Beringan area; such a good place flanked by two rivers that protect it from being flooded. The first king of Yogyakarta Palace was Pangeran Mangkubumi with the title Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I (HB I).
Karaton, Keraton or Kraton, originates from the word ke-ratu-an that means the place where the queen/king lives. Simple explanation of its broader meaning is that all structures and buildings in the Kraton area have significant meaning related to essential Javanese philosophy of life, namely Sangkan Paraning Dumadi that means the origin and the destination of human being.
In general, the Kraton area stretches 5 kilometers southwards to Krapyak village and 2 kilometers northwards until the Tugu monument. In this imaginary line, there is a reversed dualism linear line that tells symbolical philosophy: the direction from south to north symbolizes the birth of human being from the high place to the perishable world, and the opposite direction symbolizes the return of human being to the Dumadi (God in Javanese philosophy). Kraton is physical symbol and the King is the symbol of the real soul that presents into the physical body.
The direction from the Palace to the Tugu monument represents the road of life that is full of temptations. Beringharjo market symbolizes women temptation and temptation of power is symbolized by Kepatihan building. The straight street connecting the Palace to Tugu monument symbolizes close relationship between human being and the Creator (Sangkan Paraning Dumadi).
In short, Tugu monument is a symbol of lingga (male sex organ) and Krapyak symbolizes yoni (female sex organ) and kraton is physical blend of the two.
Hit by the earthquake in 1867, the Sultan Palace was severely damaged. During the reign of HB VII in 1889, the building was renovated. The lay out being retained, the shape of the building was changed to the current look.
Tugu monument and Manguntur Tangkil hall or Bangsal Kencana (where the king is seated), are straight in a line. This means that while sitting on his throne and looking toward the Tugu monument, he will always remember his people.
In general, the space arrangement of the current Sultan Palace is similar to the one of Mataram Dynasty. The center of the Palace is the so called Bangsal Kencana that is adjacent to Bangsal Prabayeksa as the place to keep sacred weapons (in this room, there is an oil lamp called Kyai Wiji that is kept lit by the Palace servants). This hall is surrounded by Kedhaton yard so that people must go through layers of the yard that seem like waves in order to reach the center.
This special arrangement of the Palace looks similar to constellation of mountain and Jambu Dwipa land that is considered to be central archipelago of the universe.
From north part to west part of the Palace area, there are North Square, North Siti Hinggil, North Kemandhungan, Srimanganti, Kedhaton, Kemagangan, South Kemandungan, South Siti Hinggil and South Square (the yard that is protected by high walls).
In order to reach all of the places, there are nine gates (called regol) that must be passed through, namely: gerbang, pangurukan, tarub agung, brajanala, srimanganti, kamagangan, gadhung mlati, kemandhungan and gading.
Brongtodiningrat sees the significance of this number, as the highest number to describe excellence. This is related to nine holes in human beings, commonly called babahan hawa sanga.
The sacredness of each Palace building is indicated by the frequency and intensity of Sultan activities in the location.
Sultan only visits the Square, Pagelaran, and Siti Hinggil three times a year, namely during the events of Pisowan Ageng Grebeg Maulud, Sawal and Besar and other very special, incidental events such as coronation of the Sultan and the crown prince or Pangeran Adipati Anom.
Yogyakarta Sultan Palace is an old building that was once damaged and restored. In general, it looks like other Kingdom buildings. When we understand the philosophy of them deeper, however, we will understand the symbolical meaning of life philosophy, human nature, how the nature works and human beings live their lives and various symbols of life existence in them.
Quoted from :http://www.yogyes.com/en/yogyakarta-tourism-object/historic-and-heritage-sight/kraton/