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By Ariella N. Lai in Activities

Sep 29, 2021

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy keeping up with the British monarchy.

The British might be the shining example in history, especially as colonizers. Still, many people might not be aware that Indonesia–pre-colonialism, was a bunch of separate kingdoms and monarchies. Many of them ceased to exist ever since the fire nation colonies formed. However, some are still standing to this day under Indonesian rule. I think I’ve given a well enough history lesson on the Jogja Keraton and how it still stands to this day, even under Indonesian authority, in my previous article on Goa Cemara.

During my Goa Cemara article, I talked a lot about the mythology surrounding Jogja, which involved magic and a sea goddess, this time, I’m diving straight into its factual history. Many guesthouses were constructed during the heyday of the Yogyakarta monarchy to serve as a resting place for kings and queens and their royal courts. Bathing pools were also included in these guesthouses so the royal court could rest and relax in their privilege. Pesanggrahan Rejowinangun, also known as Warungboto Site, is one of them. This site was built in 1877 when Sultan Hamengkubuwono II was still the Crown Prince, and it was still in use by the public in 1935.

However, there was a period after 1935 when the bathhouse became deserted and even neglected by the public officials, to the point it became an abandoned hotspot. The government has now opened the site for the public, where visitors can experience the history and imagine what it felt like to be part of the royal officials back in the day. Even now, you could see its grandeur behind the grime and mold. The remains of gardens and ponds on the Warungboto Site provide warmth and serenity for the royal family. The Warungboto Site’s hallways, doors, and windows are all very decorative and fascinating, intricately made by builders centuries ago, and still stands to this very day. Steps lead to the top of the site where people can witness the sunset from a roofless patch of space, only guarded by a waist-high partition.

Being amidst the ruins is a flashback to history and a surprisingly perfect place for pictures, be it impromptu or planned. The daughter of Indonesia’s 7th president had her prewedding photoshoot there, contributing to its recent popularity rise. Although a mere shadow of its splendor, imagining what it must have looked like during its prime is an absolute delight, knowing that even from ruins, its majestic air still stands, unbothered by the test of time.