This is Jalan Slamet Riyadi, in the center of Solo.

Solo or Surakarta is just a couple of hours drive east of Yogya. It's another old Javanese court city, with its own princely houses and palaces. It's quieter and has fewer tourists than Yogya, but there are still lots of artists and musicians here.

This is the front entrance to the Pura Mangkunegara, one of two palaces in Solo. There is a very nice museum hall inside the palace, with all sorts of interesting historical artifacts, bits of treasure, and the 'pustaka' (emblems, including magic 'keris' daggers) of the Mangkunegara House. (They don't let you take pictures in there.)

The courtyards inside the Mangkunegara Palace have beautiful gardens and exotic birds, both live...

...and stuffed. This is a bird-of-paradise from Irian Jaya (not alive).

This is the outdoor 'pendopo' or ceremonial platform of the Kraton Surakarta. The decorations are gold. The oil painting is of the current head of the House of Pakubwono. (I was told he has an apartment somewhere else.)

There are a lot of things on display inside the Kraton Surakarta, including this old cannon which is supposed to have magic powers. This cannon is the "wife" of the Si Jagur cannon in Jakarta. Sultan Agung brought this cannon to Mataram in the 1600s (before Solo was founded), but the "husband" cannon refused to go. The little bowl of flowers and water is supposed to "feed" the powers of the cannon.

This is also in the Kraton Surakarta--a rice cooker 1.5 meters tall, for those special occasions when you have extra guests.

Jakarta Bandung Cirebon Yogya Solo

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