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Yogyakarta is a region located in southern part of Java Island Indonesia. Geographical condition of Yogyakarta located in the foot of Merapi mountain at the north and active volcano that gives prosperity to agriculture and also adjacent with Indian ocean in the south. With mostly part of hill and located in the river flow area of many big rivers.


Yogyakarta was a kingdom that lead by sultan. If we go through the time before the time of Yogyakarta sultanate. There was an Islamic kingdom called Mataram that ruled over central java region. Because of Dutch colonialism in late 16thcentury make the kingdom weaken and intervention of VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) in the administration of the kingdom make the kingdom collapsed and uprising happened in the region. Such condition also not gifted benefits to VOC that time. To settle this VOC held a treaty to split the kingdom into two part that called Giyanti treaty in 1755. The treaty formed a new two kingdoms in the name of Yogyakarta sultanate and Surakarta sultanate.


In October 1755 is the first construction of Yogyakarta Kraton means Palace. The Palace sits at the site of plain land. The conception of spatial form of the palace itself merge with the city itself. The city of Yogyakarta build around the palace as the centre of the kingdom.

The typology of space that form the city is surrounded by wall of fortress as atypical military defensive mechanism. For cosmological philosophy Yogyakarta palace build in the centre of axis from merapi mountain in the north and Indian ocean in the south and the centre of the city located between two river line, Code river in the East and Winongo river in the west This river comes from Merapi mountain and ended in Indian ocean.  This location has a philosophical meaning of Javanese context, there is tree conceptual preposition for this axis which are, the coast line of Indian ocean resemble of Palemahanmeans harmonic relationships between human and nature, the palace itself resemble Pawongan means Harmonic relationships between human with the others human and Merapi mountain resemble Parahyangan means harmonic relationships between human and God and two rivers in between resemble the fortune that never ending.

From this location planned an area that going to use as palace and all of the city needed inside a wall that function as defensive mechanism. The wall itself have 4 main doors in each cross axis. There is a main line that across the fortress and intersection with the palace. In outside of the wall there is a road that connected a monument of tower at the north that called Golong-gilig Monument. The history of the monument is the benchmark position to the Merapi mountain. And in the south there is building called panggung krapyak, panggung means podium and krapyak means the villages name where the building located. The building use for royal families when doing hunting. It’s a rectangular building that have a flat roof that the king can see his hunting from above.

In the centre of the palace the king designed some philosophical form of space that called Catur Gatra Tunggal (catur: Javanese for “four”; gatra: Javanese for “element”; tunggal: Javanese for “single/integrated”), which means “four elements in one single integrity”. The principle is manifested in the architecture of King’s Palace, which comprises a palace, a mosque, a city square, and a traditional market. In this form of space the area divided by 4 parts. At the north and south there are a Square. In line with the palace The northern square mainly uses for official king ceremony. And to welcoming the region leader and the south mainly use for commoners to conduct celebration for special day like Javanese new year’s calendar.

In the west side of the palace located grand mosque near the square its resemble the kingdom also have strong believe in god and as a Muslim kingdom. The mosque faced the west to the mecca. At the east there is a traditional market for the people can do economic activity.

This spatial pattern same as ‘Lynch: 1960’ theory for the city image and its elements, the city has strong path as an axis and several nodes and landmark. This serial path and nodes makes strong image of the city itself and the palace as the centre of the city.

a. King palace

b. North square

c. South square

d. Golong-gilig monument

e. Regent officer resident

f. Tamansari Palace bathhouse

g. Palace Horse house

h. Grand mosque



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