or simply Yogya, is one of the foremost cultural centers of Java.
Located at the foot of the active Merapi volcano, Yogyakarta was
in the 16th and 17th centuries the seat of the mighty Javanese empire
of Mataram., from which present day Yogyakarta has inherited the
best of traditions. The city itself has a special charm which seldom
fails to captivate the visitor.
This province is one of the most densely populated
areas of Indonesia. The city came into being in 1755, after the
division of Mataram into the Sultanates of Yogyakarta and Surakarta
(Solo). Gamelan, classical and contemporary Javanese dances, the
wayang kulit leather puppet theater and other expressions of traditional
art will keep the visitor spellbound. Local craftsmen excel
in the arts of batiks, silver and leather work.
Sultan's palace is the hub of Yogya's traditional life and despite
the advance of modernity, it still emanates the spirit of refinement
which has been the hallmark of Yogya's art for centuries. Next to
the traditional, contemporary art has found fertile soil in Yogya's
culture oriented society. ASRI, the Academy of Fine Arts is the
center of arts and Yogya itself has given its name to an important
school of modern painting in Indonesia, perhaps best personified
by the famed Indonesian impressionist, the late Affandi.
Yogya is often called the main gateway to the center
of Java where it is geographically located. It stretches from Mount
Merapi to the Indian Ocean. There is daily air service to Yogya
from Jakarta, Surabaya and Bali as well as regular train service
and easy accessibility by road.