Most people enter the Kraton through the northern gates by the main post office, beyond which lies the busy town square, Alun-alun Utara. As is usual in Java, the city’s grand mosque, Mesjid Agung (visit outside of prayer times), built in 1773 by Mangkubumi, stands on the western side of the alun-alun. It’s designed along traditional Javanese lines, with a multi-tiered roof on top of an airy, open-sided prayer hall. A little to the north of the mosque, just by the main gates, stands the Sono Budoyo Museum, Jl Trikoro 6, which houses a fine exhibition of the arts of Java, Madura and Bali. The intricate, damascene-style wooden partitions from Northern Java are particularly eye-catching, as are the many classical gold and stone statues dating back to the eighth century.

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