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With its pools, waterways and ornate features, the Water Castle of Tamansari is a majestic former palace complex for the sultans of Yogyakarta. It had many purposes, serving as a resting area, a meditation complex, a defensive fortification and a hiding place. Delve into the dark tunnels to find the mosque. Capture photos of the intricate details throughout the site.
Although most of the complex is ruined, the pools have been restored, with the central bathing site the best preserved. Enjoy the serenity around the artificial lake, which has several small islands. See the smaller lake in the eastern end of the complex and admire the various majestic pavilions and pools. In the 18th century, when the complex was built, concubines waited in the bathing pools while the sultan made his choice.
Among the highlights are the gates, which feature elaborate details and intricate carvings. Walk through the eastern Gedhong Gapura Panggung gate, which still functions as the main entrance for visitors. See the two remaining of the four Naga serpents on this 18th-century portal.
The two gates lead to octagonal courtyards. Visit the eastern courtyard to appreciate its pavilions, where the royal families rested. Gaze up at the building with a tower from which the sultan observed his daughters and the concubines in the pools.
Rumours suggest that a sultan executed the Portuguese architect of the complex to keep his pleasure retreat a hidden secret. Doubt has been cast over the authenticity of this story, since some experts claim the architecture represents a melange of Dutch and Javanese designs, rather than Portuguese.
Note that the name of the complex is Javanese for Beautiful Garden. The site was heavily damaged during the Java War in the 19th century and a major earthquake 40 years later.
There is a fee to enter the complex, which is open daily from morning until late afternoon. The Water Castle is about 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) south-west of the city center of Yogyakarta. It is just south of the iconic Kraton Complex. Visit nearby attractions, such as the Jogja National Museum and the GKI Ngupasan Yogyakarta.
Give yourself plenty of time at Water Castle. Here are some of the best things to do:
Taken you years to experience this lovely attraction? Then you can't possibly leave without trying out a Private Yogyakarta City Tour.
Take a look at our Yogyakarta things to do page to learn about many more activities in the area.
This family-friendly Yogyakarta hotel is located in the business district, within 1 mi (2 km) of Pasar Beringharjo, Malioboro Street, and Palace of Yogyakarta. Gadjah Mada University and Gembira Loka Zoo are also within 3 mi (5 km). Yogyakarta Train Station is 26 minutes by foot.
Located in Central Yogyakarta, this luxury hotel is steps from Yogyakarta Monument and Malioboro Street. Gadjah Mada University and Palace of Yogyakarta are also within 2 mi (3 km). Yogyakarta Train Station is 26 minutes by foot.
Located in Central Yogyakarta, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Malioboro Mall, Malioboro Street, and Palace of Yogyakarta. Gadjah Mada University is 1.9 mi (3 km) away. Yogyakarta Train Station is only a 2-minute walk.
Located in Malioboro, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Malioboro Mall, Malioboro Street, and Palace of Yogyakarta. Gadjah Mada University and Gembira Loka Zoo are also within 3 mi (5 km). Yogyakarta Train Station is 16 minutes by foot.
Situated in Yogyakarta, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Batik Plentong, Malioboro Street, and Palace of Yogyakarta. Gembira Loka Zoo is 2.8 mi (4.6 km) away.
Located in Central Yogyakarta, this guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Gumuling Well, Malioboro Street, and Palace of Yogyakarta. Kampoeng Cyber and Water Castle (Tamansari) are also within 15 minutes.
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