Ullen Sentalu Museum

Yogyakarta has never failed to amuse tourists from all over the world. As one of the special regions in Indonesia, Yogyakarta is the center of Javanese culture and art in Java Island. With the Sultan as the governor of Yogyakarta, this town has been keeping its traditions for hundreds of years since the ancient kingdom era. The rich culture embedded in the daily life of Yogyakarta people resulting in a unique experience while visiting Yogyakarta with distinct architecture and friendly people. While you’re in Yogyakarta, the best ride is to rent a car to ease your mobilization.

Exploring Ullen Sentalu Museum

If you’re interested in learning the culture of Yogyakarta or Javanese, one of the best places to visit is the museums. Yogyakarta dotted with various museums, ranging from the science museum, Indonesian history, and cultural museums that preserve the traditions for the next generations. One of the most prominent museums of culture is the Ullen Sentalu Museum. It is specialized in preserving Javanese culture and art and is located in Kaliurang highland, Sleman Regency, Yogyakarta.

ullen sentalu museum
Photo by Iyan Kurnia on Unsplash

Ullen Sentalu Museum used to be a private museum established by Haryono family 1994. Now the museum is managed by Ulating Blencong Foundation. The museum was officially inaugurated on March 1st, 1997, the same day as the historical day for Yogyakarta City celebrated annually. It was inaugurated by KGPAA Paku Alam VIII who was a Governor of Yogyakarta at that time. The name of Ullen Sentalu itself is a Javanese abbreviation of ULating bLENcong SEjatiNe TAtaraning LUmaku. Meaning that Blencong light is the guide in stepping and living life. Blencong itself is a certain lamp that was used in Javanese leather puppet theater.

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Situated on the cold area of Yogyakarta highland, Ullen Sentalu Museum was built in Taman Kaswargan (Heavenly Garden) for its location on foot of sacred Merapi Volcano. Along with that Taman, Kaswargan is also located in the historical district with cool weather emitting nostalgic and contemplation ambiance. The major feature of the Ullen Sentalu Museum is the Javanese architecture. Layout and building structure combines Javanese and postmodern design, creating peaceful harmony like nothing else in the world. No wonder that this museum has been listed as the 2nd best museum in Indonesia in 2018 by TripAdvisor.

Ullen sentalu statues
Photo by Artem Beliakin on pexels.com

Once you arrive at the museum, you might need to wait to enter the museum because the museum only allows a maximum of 25 people into one group. Each group is assigned a professional and super friendly tour guide to ensure the education or learning process along the tour. Exploring the unique architecture, some of which is open area while savoring the slice of Javanese culture brings a pleasant feeling in Ullen Sentalu Museum.

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Some parts of the museums are the basement, labyrinth, garden, and gallery. Various collections of Javanese paintings, statues, old photographs, and fabrics are being displayed in the museum. The major collections of this museum are intangible heritage such as expression, historical knowledge, skills, and practices. Therefore, you need to listen carefully to your guide to understand the pieces in the display. To preserve the heritage and to ensure that the visitors learn in Ullen Sentalu Museum, taking pictures is only allowed in certain parts of the area.

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Ullen sentalu statues
Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash

The tour will take around 50 to 60 minutes through many exhibits. During the tour, you get to experience a complimentary Javanese special drink called jamu Ratu Mas. The name Ratu Mas itself is derived from the late wife of King Pakubuwono X who was famous for her beauty. Jamu Ratu Mas is a special beverage made of herbs and spices that are believed to bring health. At the end of the tour, the guide will take pictures in an open area. The open area is adorned with a giant relief, like the one you’ll find in the temple.

However, you will certainly notice that the relief is deliberately being tilted. The tilted relief is a strong symbolized statement from the museum as a disappointment to the young generations who ignore their culture.

If you wish to bring back some memories home, you can visit the souvenir shops to get clothing, books, and batik. There is also fancy dining in the area, Beukenhof Restaurant and Café with colonial architecture.

In this restaurant, make your day perfect where you can enjoy supper or having dessert while breath in the fresh air of Kaliurang. Not to worry because the entrance fee of this beloved museum is affordable. The ticket has included a tour guide and a free drink.

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