Tamansari Water Castle

Jl. Ngasem
Yogyakarta, Indonesia

Submitted by: Dyah Kartikawening

A water garden that was built in 1758 and remains a dynamic and traditional neighborhood.

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Why It Works

Tamansari, which means "perfumed garden," is home to some 2,700 residents, a community that distinguishes itself through its craft traditions in batik and traditional painting. The "perfumed garden" is experiencing a revival, becoming a venue for the performing arts, tourism, crafts, and festivals, all of which have improved appreciation for the site.

What Makes Tamansari Water Castle a Great Place?

Tamansari is a popular tourist destination in Yogyakarta, because of its convenient location to the city center and Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Marketplace). The only way to get around Tamansari is by walking, which makes the place more enjoyable and gives more opportunities to enjoy the various tropical vegetations, local community houses, and batik galleries.

Tamansari is a witness of yesterday's charm in the midst of today's creative life. The ruin is well maintained, and the houses are clean, since the site is a tourist destination. The neighborhood residents take care of the place as well as maintain the safety and cleanliness of the place.

As a visitor, there are so many options, from taking the tour of the used-to-be garden, to visiting local artistsí galleries. Visitors can enjoy the city's view on top of the location, and can visit Pasar Ngasem at the end of the journey.

People around Tamansari are helpful and friendly, they are accustomed to visitors and tourists. The local pride can be seen through their daily life and through the galleries. Ratio of local visitors and tourists: 40:60.

History & Background

Tamansari was built in 1758 as a pleasure palace complex for Sultan Hamengku Buwono I of the Kingdom of Yogyakarta. The 59-building compound included a mosque, meditation chambers, swimming pools, and a series of 18 water gardens and pavilions surrounded by ornamental lakes. The palace complex fell out of use following an earthquake in 1867, which destroyed several buildings and drained the famous water features. Over time, squatters began to inhabit the site, living among the deserted pavilions and building homes in the former lakebeds.

Contact Info:

Center for Heritage Conservation, Jl. Grafika 2, Yogyakarta, Indonesia 55281

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