University of Tasmania
whole_DewantoWahyu1998_thesis.pdf (16.61 MB)

Space and myth in Surakarta Kasunanan Palace, Indonesia : a preliminary investigation of spatial and mythical qualities of the palace and how they relate to the power and authority of the king/dom

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posted on 2023-05-27, 00:14 authored by Dewanto, W
Surakarta Kasunanan palace, in central Java, is an important part of the heritage of the Indonesian nation. It is regarded as a centre of Javanese culture. The architecture of the palace represents the complexity of Indonesian culture, where local tradition and external social, cultural and religious influences are manifested in the form and structure. Surakarta Kasunanan palace as a whole is considered a sacred place, gives a religious impression and reflects the characteristics of the kingdom. Within the palace, each component becomes a symbol of Javanese philosophy resulting from a combination of various beliefs, including indigenous Javanese animism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. This study attempts to investigate the spatial and mythical qualities of the palace and to analyse how they relate to the power and authority of the king as the centre of a Javanese Islamic kingdom. It is anticipated that this will provide an alternative approach in the study of traditional architecture, where emphasis is placed on the cultural, social and political aspects which influence the physical forms. A large portion of the work in this investigation has dealt with the arrangement of the palace. Yet, more emphasis has been placed on aspects of the relationship between people and their physical surroundings, than on the information about its physical character. In short, this research is an attempt to discover, through a variety of methods, the spiritual effects that the physical world exerts upon Javanese people. As the history of Surakarta Kasunanan palace has been the foundation of thinking about values and norms of Javanese culture in the last two centuries, so the history of its architecture has influenced the criteria that inform our view of Javanese architecture. This thesis examines the Surakarta Kasunanan palace, its history, its evolution, its built form, the myth behind the palace, and the political and social backgrounds in order to understand the role of the palace as a symbol of the power and authority of the king, and as a model of traditional Javanese architecture. The general purpose of the research is to address questions concerning aspects of Javanese architecture, particularly the space, layout and form of the buildings, and how these related to users' behaviour. The investigation focuses on the Surakarta Kasunanan palace and the question how the mythology surrounding it was used to reinforce the power and authority of the king.


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Copyright 1997 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 1998. Includes bibliographical references.

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