(Solo, Central Java, Indonesia)
There are several museums of note to be found within the city of Solo, offering the chance to gain an understanding into the culture and history of this area of Central Java. The Sasono Sewoko Museum is of great note in Solo and is part of the Kraton Surakarta complex, being reached through a rather beautifully carved doorway.
Created by the hand of one of Indonesia's finest purveyors of silks and wax-dyed fabrics (batik), Santosa Doellah, Solo's popular Museum Batik Danar Hadi really is a celebration of their achievements and passion. The exhibits here include some exquisitely created vintage batik tulis, which are displayed within different gallery spaces.
Museum Batik Danar Hadi
Address: Jalan Slamet Riyadi 261, Solo, Indonesia, ID
Tel: +62 0271 714 326
Interestingly, the name 'Danar Hadi' was derived by combining the names of Santosa Doellah's wife (Danarsih Santosa) and his father-in-law (H. Hadipriyono), and became widely associated with batik of the finest quality. There are regular hand-waxing and stamp-waxing workshops here, as well as a performing arts area and processing department, where you can learn more about the way that the patterns are applied to the fabrics. Also onsite is a gift shop, which allows visitors to purchase some of the very best batiks available.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 16:00
Sasono Sewoko Museum
Address: Kraton Surakarta, Jalan Sasonomulyo, Solo, Indonesia, ID
Housing a collection of priceless antiques and treasures, such as silver Hindu-Javanese figurines and heirlooms from the royal family, the Sasono Sewoko Museum is also home to an impressive collection of historical weaponry, which has been collected from around Java. For an additional charge, it is possible to hire personal, English-speaking guides, to help you make the very most of your visit.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday - 09:00 to 14:00, Saturday and Sunday - 09:00 to 15:00
Admission: charge, admission as part of overall entry to the Kraton Surakarta
Radya Pustaka Museum
Address: Jalan Slamet Riyadi, Solo, Indonesia, ID
Standing alongside the Radya Pustaka Museum and next to the railway line, the Radya Pustaka Museum contains a rather eclectic collection of objects, which range from jewelled Indonesian daggers (kris) and 'wayang' puppets, to various antiquities and traditional musical instruments (gamelan). There is also an interesting number of historical scrolls, which depict 'wayang' stories and are better known locally as 'wayang beber'. Look out for the puppet figurehead originating from the royal barge (Raja Mala). The museum itself was founded in the 19th century and moved to its present location in 1913.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 09:00 to 13:00