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Title: Keraton  
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Subject: Ratu, Mount Merapi, Nyai Roro Kidul
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Kraton or Keraton is the Javanese word for a royal palace. Its name is derived from ka-ratu-an which means the residence of ratu. Ratu is the traditional honorific title to refer the "ruler" (king or queen). In Java, the palace of a prince is called puro or dalem. The general word to designate a palace is istana, as in Indonesian and Malay.

Specific palaces

Kraton that function as the residence of a royal family include:

Yogyakarta region
Surakarta (Solo) region
  • Kraton Surakarta Hadiningrat (Palace of Pakubuwono dynasty).
  • Puro Mangkunegaran
Cirebon area

Historical palaces

The locations of former kraton has been determined by historical records or archaeological efforts. Former kraton include:

  • Kraton of Majapahit in Trowulan, Mojokerto, the capital of the former Majapahit. Sites such as Pendopo Agung Majapahit are thought to be remnants of the Kraton of Majapahit.[3]

In Banten region there are remnants of the Sultanate of Banten's palaces:

  • Kraton Surosowan, Banten, former royal palace of Sultanate of Banten [4]
  • Kraton Kaibon, the former palace of queen mother [5]

In Yogyakarta and Surakarta region, there is the remnants of Sultanate of Mataram palaces:

  • Kota Gede remains of a palace from the 16th century.
  • Karta and Plered, there are remains of palaces from the 17th century
  • Kraton Kartasura on the outskirt of Surakarta, remains of palace and city wall, also dated from 17th century

Metonymic use

The term kraton 'palace' is also used as a way to refer to the court which it houses.

This is especially the case for native Indonesian states where the succession is disputed, giving issue to two or more branches of the dynasty, or even rivaling dynasties, each setting up an alternative court, while competing for the same state, but generally only controlling part of it.

An example is the West-Javan state of Cirebon, which was founded in 1478 and since 1662 was ruled from four kraton (palaces):[6]

  • (1) Kraton Kasepuhan, using as the ruler's style Sultan
  • (2) Kraton Kanoman, style Sultan
  • (3) Kraton Kaprabonan, style Panembahan (lower in rank)
  • (4) Kraton Kacirebonan, style Sultan

See also



  • Miksic, John (general ed.), et al. (2006) Karaton Surakarta. A look into the court of Surakarta Hadiningrat, central Java (First published: 'By the will of His Serene Highness Paku Buwono XII'. Surakarta: Yayasan Pawiyatan Kabudayan Karaton Surakarta, 2004) Marshall Cavendish Editions Singapore ISBN 981-261-226-2

External links

  • WorldSatesmen - Indonesia - Princely States

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