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Visiting Sonobudoyo Museum in Yogyakarta

Sonobudoyo Museum is a museum located on the Northern area of Keraton Yogyakarta’s Alun-alun Lor or North Plaza. The place was built in 1935 by Java Institute, an organization which main concern is Javanese culture. The museum is known for its comprehensive collections of Javanese culture and history. Even, you can find ceramics from Neolithic era and copper statue from the 8th century. Not only that, the collections of wayang, antique weapons, and Javanese masks are also kept there.
The location of Museum Sonobudoyo is near Alun-alun Lor which means near Malioboro. Therefore, you can easily access it after you’re done with your shopping and looking for something historical. To reach the place, you can either go by a taxi or by becak for less than twenty thousand rupiahs (about two dollars). The entrance ticket is also very cheap, three thousand rupiahs (about thirty cents) for adults and two thousand rupiahs (about two cents) for children. Moreover, the museum also has a short-duration wayang kulit show and to see this you have to pay twenty thousand rupiahs. The schedule for this show is 8PM – 10PM on workday. Therefore, if you want to it, don’t come before the schedule or else you won’t find any wayang kulit show.
The thing that you can enjoy while in Sonobudoyo Museum is its antique and rare collections. However, before engaging in sightseeing activity, you will first notice that the building architecture is Javanese and the outer yard and the inner yard is separated by a wall ornamented with jasmine and the main gate is in the shape of semar tinandu (a famous wayang character). On the inside of the museum, you will see many objects; it is said that the museum collections is amounted to forty-three thousand objects.
These objects then are classified into ten categories: geology, biology, ethnography, archeology, history, numismatic, philology, cosmology, fine art, and technology collections. The collections are put in two places; indoor and outdoor. Those being put outdoor are usually statues from Hindu and Buddhist Kingdoms in Central and East Java, ceremonial attributes, and temples ornaments. Meanwhile, the indoor collections are usually fragile and have to be extra taken-care of. Some of these objects are put inside to keep it from rotting.
Some of those things are arts made of wood and bamboo, various kinds of batik and the tools to create it, and objects made of metal like gold, silver, or copper. These metals are usually formed into statues, hanging lamps, gamelan (Javanese musical instruments), and keris (Javanese sword-like weapons). Even, the museum has 12.000 collections of keris from Java Institut.
The museum is also equipped with auditorium, library, office, and laboratory. In fact, you will find old hand-written manuscript in Javanese and Arab. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking for letter-based historical objects. All in all, it’s the place to should visit when you are in Yogyakarta. It’s also suitable if you are in a group or want to go there by yourself as the museum’s staffs are informative and will be very pleased to accompany you during your visit.
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