I don’t really know what went over me after I finished cleaning up the other day. But, I decided to head over to a particular museum a lot of people have been raving about. It’s Ullen Sentalu, nestled in Kaliurang highlands in Jogja. The museum is known for its beautiful architecture and how it preserves Javanese culture. Therefore, it’s supported by the keraton family in Jogja.
The museum is very nature like, you’re surrounded by trees and the calmness that nature brings. Another note, going around the museum is on a guided tour as we have to venture through stone covered tunnels and various rooms.
Ullen Sentalu is a Javanese culture and art museum, but not just any other. We will learn about how rich Javanese culture is through the history of the royal houses of the Mataram dynasty which consists of Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Mangkunegaran and Pakualaman. There we will also know the difference of styles between Jogja and Solo motifs in Batik with their amazing collection.
The name Ullen Sentalu is an acronym of “ULating bLENcong SEjatiNe TAtaraning LUmaku”. That means (with my best translation possible) “the lighting of the blencong light is a guide and steps for mankind to pursue life”. The philosophy or symbolism comes from the blencong oil lamp which light is key to a Wayang performance. That symbolism alone is enough to get me hooked and this has so far been the best experience I’ve had in a museum.
Due to the guided tour of the museum, we are not able to take pictures inside. To me, that just adds to the mystery and enticement of the museum that you’ll just have to see yourself. I was utterly amazed with the museum’s surrounding, and the dedication put in creating an educational yet a romantic nuance to the museum. Why romantic you say? Well that’s because visitors can learn about the princesses of the keraton who were not only beautiful but smart, independent and open minded. One of them was Gusti Siti Nurul who qmade a lot of well-named men wanted to marry her, including the president Soekarno. However, she refused their proposals because she didn’t believe in polygamy, simple as that. Well, you go girl.
The mix of traditional Javanese architecture with a touch of European This could be felt with the Beukenhof restaurant, which made me feel like I was in Italy or the Netherlands. Served are classic food such as fish and chips, pizza but the atmosphere is what you’re looking for.
On this first visit, I felt like I was going back in time in the museum, and so close with nature. After being away for a couple of years from Indonesia, I was amazed and humbled at how our culture is so rich and deserves to be appreciated.
Come and visit Ullen Sentalu when you have the chance, and be enchanted.
Museum Ullen Sentalu
Jl. Boyong, Kaliurang Barat
Telp: (0274) 895161
*last tour is at 15.00