Keeping the past to be interesting in the present is not an easy task. Relevancy keep the past in the present and help the past stand the test of time. Cirebon is one of the city in Indonesia that stand between past and present. The past represent by the language spoken by its citizen; a lil bit “ngapak” with Javanese and Sundanese accent. The present represented by the rapid development.
Geographically, Cirebon has warmer to hotter climate compare to its neighbour. If you happened to be in Cirebon, you must visit Keraton Kasepuhan Cirebon that will remind you of the past while also look to the future. Keraton Kasepuhan Cirebon is influenced by three culture (Javanese, Chinese, and European) and three religions (Hindu, Islam, and Buddha). The influence of these culture and religions make Cirebon quite advanced. Though looks dull and not as sophisticated as Keraton Yogyakarta or Solo, Keraton Kasepuhan Cirebon has soul and heart that makes people willing to wander around.
Keraton Kasepuhan Cirebon located in Jl. Jagasatru, Jawa Barat, Indonesia. You might be familiar with this place during junior to senior high school. It is also one of the famous tourist place in Cirebon. The Palace was built in 1430 by Prince Walang Sungsang or Cakrabuana, the crown prince of Padjadjaran Kingdom. When the palace was built, Cirebon was popularly known as Caruban.
There is a small fee you shoud pay before you can enter the place. The palace has several building such as the square, mosques, forts, Siti Inggil, glass coach Museum, and museum of history which sits around its perfectly maintained 25 hectares of soil. However, only 12 hectare of the palace open for the public as the other is used by the member of the palace as private residency. The oldest building in the palace is Pakungwati. Inside Pakungwati, you will see a fortune wells. Instead of throwing money into the wells, all you have to do is to use the water whether for taking a bath or praying. The water is often used for various rituals. And even the water is being sold in the old days. But due to a lot of bad events, the water is sell no more and people who wants the water should go to the palace.
From aesthetic- wise, you can see a lot amazing design influenced by the three religions and culture. Islamic architecture is represented by the mosque, the square, and the palace itself. The hinduism represented by the red brick gate which resemble the gates we seen in Bali. While the Javanese is represented by the existence of Siti Hinggil and few small pendopo.
Another example of blending of culture represented by Singa Barong coach. According to Mr. Satu, Singa Barong is considered as technically sophisticated for its time. Though singa means as lion, singa in this case means as “sing ngarani bareng-bareng”, which mean as “was given name together.” The design of the coach represent three nations and religion. You can see dragon’s head is from China and also represent Buddha. The elephant’s trunk represent India and Hinduism while Garuda represent Egypt and Islam.
As you wander around, you can see another treasure such as weapon, furniture, dishes, or antiques. They might seems rusty but Mr. Satu said, all of them are made with the highest quality from Europe. There is also a striking painting of King Siliwangi or Padjajaran with a lion. Mr. Satu said that the painting has supernatural effect and some people might experience supernatural activity.
If you done wandering around, you might want to chill a little by looking the night scenery in Cirebon as the weather start to get cooler.