travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


Love Stories in Ullen Sentalu Museum (Java, Indonesia)

November 3, 2016

They say that when you want to know more about the place, you must visit a museum. I am still not sure if I am a museum-type of girl. I cannot picture myself being that lady in the movie who met her lover in a museum. But I always welcome a taste of history in any trip. 

We headed to Ullen Sentalu Museum after witnessing the beautiful sunrise in Borobudur Temple. The facade reminds me of the Bencab Museum in Baguio, Philippines. The musuem has so much history and stories. I fell in love. 

Ullen Sentalu Museum is a private museum that was initiated by Haryono family and is currently being managed by Ulating Blencong Foundation.
It is a guided tour that takes around 45 minutes. The tour guide (English speaking too) led the way to the tunnel which is cool and secluded – like a cave. It houses a great collection of old photos, Batik and historic artifacts that showcased the rich Java history and political background of Yogyakarta Kingdom with romantic love story on the side. We traveled through history as we walked down halls and corridors in a maze-like pathways. 
The view inside was amazing. I love that there were no clicks of cameras and flashes of smart phones to disrupt the tour. We were all ears and eyes (and senses) to the stories. 
And here are the stories of the past that we got to hear:
There was an old Sultan (in his fifties?) who married a princess in her teens. It was a very sad wedding photo (except for that one kid in the photo who fierce-fully posed for the picture together with the couple)
There was a princess who was desired by many important men in Indonesia because of her beauty and rare talent and skills (an equestrian and dancer). But she refused to be in a polygamous marriage and chose to marry a soldier and lived a life away from the public. 
One of the interesting things I learned from the tour in Ullen Sentalu is the batik fabrics and prints. There are two chambers in the museum which showcase the different prints of batik from Solo and Yogyakarta. Batiks from Solo has a yellow gold tone, while Yogyakarta Batiks are bolder and has dark brown color (read about my Batik Making experience).

My favorite chamber is the one which showcases handwritten notes and letters to Puteri Tineke, daughter of Pakubuwono XI, Sultan of Surakarta.  She was a princess who chose to be with a man she loved (vs marrying for political reasons).  Her friends and cousins sent her words of encouragement in handwritten notes (such very nice calligraphy!). I really love how Ullen Sentalu Museum preserved such lovely artifacts. 
This is one of the rare times I enjoyed a visit to a museum. It seemed that everyone in our group did too – evident with the way we reacted on the stories, laughed at the interesting names, and threw questions to our tour guide. 
At the end of the tour, we were served with a traditional drink taken from the Sultan’s recipe book. They say that the drink would keep our minds young and sharp. 
After the tour, we had lunch at Beukenhof Restaurant. 

Ullen Sentalu Museum
Jalan Boyong KM 25, Kaliurang Barat, Sleman, Yogyakarta
Phone number: +62 274 895161

Fee : around $3 USD for locals | $5 USD for tourists

Operating Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Closed on Mondays

*** #RuthGoestoIndonesia Trip of Wonders is sponsored by Ministry of Tourism Republic of Indonesia.Follow along the story #TripofWonders #WonderfulIndonesia

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