If you make a list of things to do in Jogja, it will not be enough if you do not take a picture with Tugu Yogyakarta in Malioboro near the Tugu Station.
Tugu is also the icon of this city which the monument is wrapped in white with a gold-colored top. This monument seems very simple compared to other well-known monuments in Indonesia. However, it has a popular and essential history of Yogyakarta civilization. As we have mentioned earlier, you must take a picture with this monument if you visit Yogyakarta.
The history of Tugu Jogja
This monument was initially built in 1756 by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono I – the first kind of Yogyakarta – one year right after Yogyakarta Palace was established. Before the palace was established, the two kingdoms – the Palace of Surakarta and the Palace of Yogyakarta – were one big kingdom. The monument was also a reminder of the unity of all the kings with the local community to fight the colonialism by Netherland.
The original shape of Tugu Yogyakarta was not like the today’s Tugu. The top was originally round-shaped like a ball and the body was like a tube with 25 meters of total height. It was called Tugu Golong Gilig back then. The original shape also had a meaningful meaning: the unity of the local community with their king.
The powerful earthquake
Back then in 1867, a powerful earthquake hit Yogyakarta and the monument was destroyed. It also made Tamansari and other places got down along with so many fatalities. Long story short, the monument was broken down.
Later, the authority back then renovated the monument in 1889 and Sultan Hamengkubuwono VII made it official in the same year. However, the monument is not as same as the original building. The height is shorter with a pointy-shaped top and the total height is only 15 meters. The writing on the building is also far from its initial spirit which said “the door to the greatness of all leaders”. It was done by the Netherland colonialism authority to erase the history of how the local community worked together with their king to make the Netherland people stayed away from this country, considering the renovation was when the devide-et-impera politic run in Indonesia.
Tugu Jogja in today
Even though the shape is not as same as the original one, this monument is still the icon of Yogyakarta. This is also the most favorite spot for people to hang out especially at night. Besides so many people who sell their crafts and other things around Tugu, the lighting arrangement is pretty interesting.
Back then, Tugu Jogja was the center of Yogyakarta Palace’s imaginer. If you take a straight line from south to the north and vice versa, it will lead to the South Ocean. South Ocean is believed as the place where the Majesty of Ratu Kidul lives in. According to history, all the kings of Mataram were her husband after all. Other than that, the straight line is also connecting Krapyak Graveyard, Yogyakarta Palace, and Merapi Mountain. This story is quite other things to do in Jogja.