Inside Yogyakarta's ancient royal baths

Inside Yogyakarta's ancient royal baths

The gorgeous garden near the heart of Yogyakarta has gone by many names in its long history.

Taman Sari was once known as 'the water castle' because it has several bathing pools and a beautiful artificial lake.

Thanks to its numerous fragrant flower plants, it was also referred to as 'the perfumed garden'.

Located close to the city center - about 500 meters from the Yogyakarta Sultanate Palace - it was built in 1758, during the government of Prince Mangkubumi, the first sultan of Yogyakarta Palace.

Around 1765 to 1812, it was used as a private royal garden, exclusively for the king and his relatives.

In addition to its main function as a recreational area for the king, Taman Sari also served as a fort or bunker for the king and his relatives in the event of an attack.

Currently one of the city's most popular tourist destinations, these days everyone can enjoy Taman Sari's architecture -an elegant combination of European, Javanese and Chinese style decorated with Hindu and Islamic ornaments.

According to several stories at least part of the construction had been the work of a Portuguese builder, who was given the title Demang Tegis.

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