In the city of Solo or Surakarta as it’s still fondly called, there is a place where one can (literally) find treasures. It is the place where a range of kiosks will tickle the interest of vintage aficionados not only from Indonesia but from all over the world. Built in 1939, it was to commemorate the 24th anniversary of Sultan Mangkunegoro VII’s rule. In fact, Triwindu consists of tri, meaning three and windu, meaning eight when multiplied thus equals 24.
At first, the market was mainly selling traditonal food, clothes but eventually, it became a place to buy and sell used or secondhand equipments and goods. But through the great premise it brings, the market was dirty and cluttered. However in 2008, Solo’s mayor Joko Widodo really took the opportunity to revitalize the market to not only give the market character but easier accessibility for visitors as well.
Over the years and until now, the Triwindu market has become one of the biggest or if not the biggest antique market in the country. It has wonderful diversity collections of handicrafts and items like old cameras, gramophones, clocks, telephones, radios and so much more therefore being highly placed among other markets such as the antique market along Jalan Surabaya in Menteng, Central Jakarta.
To get here from Jogja, an hour train ride is all you need and from the Solobalapan station, there are usually a lot of Becak drivers that would gladly take you there. Pulling into the market area, our eyes are grazed with the traditional, rustic architecture of the market that will spark our curiosity, making it that much more fun and fulfilling to explore. So the first floor consists of smaller items. Accessories are one of many such as bracelets, rings and earrings. Then there are beautiful decorative pieces such as table center pieces, wooden masks and paintings. Even more, rare antique books, old Rupiah money, photos of people in the past and countleass coins are items that the vendor owners will excitedly and proudly show you. As you can see in the first picture, old vespas and bicycles are there to surprise you. And that’s not all, household items random as they may be are also available ranging from European gramophones, dining utensils, old children’s bikes, shoes, handbags that were once part of the people’s everyday life. Isn’t that just wonderful to think about? Now the second floor is for the bigger items such as antique tables, cabinets, chairs with the occasional fancy typewriters and even old machine parts or automotive tools! A useful tip is of course, bargaining. So usually, bargain up to half as to what is offered then finally meet somewhere in the middle.
So, the market definitely has a kind of power to transport you through and back in time and looking at old briefcases, glasses, you would at some point imagine who must have used them back in the day and how fantastic it is to see those items in person. Before you know it, hours will have passed by and Triwindu will make you just want to come back and experience it again and again. Even though we’re surrounded by endless antique items that can still feel cluttered, how the owners arranged and stacked their items, their enthusiasm will make you feel very comfortable. Not only that, it really felt like you’re really immersing in the culture as you have a little bit of chit chat with the sellers and owners. A visit to the market exhibited the faith of people in trying to preserve and cherish the things that we own, but never be of slave to them because we never know how it may be useful to others later on.