Tamansari (Water Castle)Formerly Tamansari was a recreation garden or a resting house for the Sultan and Family. The other resting houses including Warungboto, Manukberi, Ambarbingun, and Ambarrukmo functioned for the vacation and meditation for the royal family. The other function is used as hiding place for royal family to defend against the enemy assault.
Tamansari is located about 2 km south of Yogyakarta Palace. Built by Portuguese architect in European aquatic construction adorned with Javanese Symbolize ornaments. Tamansari was built in the Sultan Hamengku Buwono I period in the end of XVII Century. Tamansari not only just a recreation, but it's also a compound of bathing pool, canals, rooms and extremerly large swimming pool (if the canals opened).
The Tamansari complex consist of:
- The Sacred Room
There is the sacred place in the complex showing a separated building, which once functioned as a hermitage place for the Sultan and his family
- The Bathing Pool
This part was formerly a pleasure place for the royal family. Consists of two bathing pool that are separated with a 2-storey building. From this building the Sultan watched all the women swimming in the outer pool. Then he might ask some of them to accompany him into the inner pool. The water sprouts from a forming animal statue into the pool. The pool is also adorned with some big flowerpot.
- Kenanga or Cemeti Island
This part compounds of some building such as Kenanga or Cemeti Island (forming Island), Sumur Gemuling and underground tunnels.
This artificial island is a high building used as resting room and reconnoitering place. This will be the only building surfaced when the canals opened and the water over flew this area. From the higher place it like lotus floating in the middle of big pool.
Sumur Gemuling is building constructed in circle such a well (Javanese: sumur) where some rooms formerly used as praying room.
The tunnels in this area were underground passageways to the Sultan palace. The legend says about secret tunnel connecting to the south sea (Indian Ocean) where Nyai Roro Kidul or the Queen of the South has her palace. The supernatural Queen becomes the wife of Yogyakarta Sultan for many generations. This secret tunnels is gateway to the world where the Sultan meeting is supernatural wife. However the building also functioned as a hiding place for the royal family against the enemy attack.
There is Masjid Sokotunggal, a unique mosque with a single pillar that is different from Javanese traditional architecture. Although built in the early of XX century, the mosque gives another attraction of this area. Kampung Taman that lies in the Tamansari complex nearby known for the batik craft. Visitor can buy or watch handmade process for both batik painting and batik clothes. Therefore people from all over Indonesia and abroad have visited this village. Not for from Tamansari is Ngasem traditional market, the biggest bird market in Yogyakarta. All of those attractions have made Tamansari become one of main tourist object in Yogyakarta besides Yogyakarta palace.