|Motto: The Spirit of Java|
|- Mayor||Joko Widodo|
|- Vice-mayor||F.X. Hadi Rudyatmo|
|- Total||44.03 km2 (17 sq mi)|
|- Density||13,636.16/km2 (35,317.5/sq mi)|
|Time zone||WIB (UTC+7)|
Surakarta is also known by the name "Solo". "Surakarta" is used in formal and official contexts. The city has a similar name with the neighboring district of "Kartasura", where the previous capital of Mataram was located. Variant spelling of Surakarta is found as Soerakarta - and is simply the old spelling prior to the pre 1948's spelling change.
It is approximately 65 km (40 miles) northeast of Yogyakarta, and 100 km (60 miles) southeast of Semarang The eastern part of the town is bordered by Bengawan Solo River, the longest river on Java. The river is the inspiration for the song Bengawan Solo, a 1940s composition by Gesang Martohartono which became famous throughout much of Asia.
In the current Indonesian context Surakarta is a city within the province of Central Java. Previous to the Indonesian nation being formed it was one of two areas ruled by local leaders.
During Dutch occupation, the two areas were known as the Vorstenland - the Yogyakarta and Surakarta principalities. Rivalry between the two has been endemic since their founding in the 1700s and was a deliberate ploy by the Dutch colonial powers to distract the attention from the presence of the Dutch colonial power.
The ruler of the main court within the city is known as a hereditary king with title of Pakubuwono. The present king(s) is Pakubuwono XIII. The ruler of Mangkunegaran, a small principality inside Kasunanan is called Mangkunegoro, with Mangkunegara IX as the present monarch. Both (or three of them) no longer hold any political power.
There are 2 major markets in the city, namely Pasar Klewer and Pasar Gede. Pasar Klewer is famous as the biggest textile market in the region.
Its ruling family lay claim to being the heirs to the Mataram dynasty. Like Yogyakarta, Solo has two royal palaces.
A series of wars and clashes between the Adipati (dukes) followed the death of the last Sultan of Demak Bintoro, the first Islamic kingdom in Java. One of these was Jaka Tingkir, son-in-law of the late sultan. After defeating the last opponent duke of Jipang-Panola, Jaka Tingkir, aka Sultan Hadiwijaya, he claimed the throne and moved the capital to the city of Pajang, located about 8 miles from the present-day Surakarta. His adopted son, Sutawijaya, formed a conspiracy and killed him with the help of an assassin. Then, he ascended the throne and once again, moved the capital to Mataram in the present-day province of Jogjakarta, and a new dynasty was founded.
Up until 1744, Solo was little more than a quiet backwater village, 10 km east of Kartasura, the contemporary capital of the Mataram kingdom. But in that year the Mataram susuhunan (king), Pakubuwono II, backed the Chinese against the Dutch, and the court at Kartasura was sacked as a result. Pakubuwono II searched for a more auspicious spot to rebuild his capital, and in 1745 the entire court was dismantled and transported in a great procession to Surakarta, on the banks of the Kali (River) Solo. February 18, 1745 is regarded as the official birthday of the city. It was said that the place he chose to be the new palace was situated on a small lake. The "babad" or official record of court historians still mentions that the lake was drained by the favor of the mythical queen of the southern sea, Nyi Roro Kidul.
However, the decline continued, and in 1757, after the kingdom of Mataram was divided into the Surakarta Sultanate (northern court) and the Jogjakarta Sultanate (southern court), another rival royal house of Mangkunegoro was established by Raden Mas Said aka Pangeran Samber Nyowo (The Slayer Prince) right in the centre of Solo. It marked the success of Dutch policies in East Indies, which were known as "divide et impera" (divide and conquer). Mataram held so much power in Java, yet it submitted to the Dutch. Thereafter, Solo's royal houses wisely avoided fighting and instead threw their energies into the arts, developing a highly sophisticated and graceful court culture. The gamelan pavilions became the new theaters of war, with each city competing to produce the more refined court culture. Wayang Kulit and Wayang Wong are some theatrical arts still performed today.
Perhaps the most significant ruler of the twentieth century, was Pakubuwono X. His relationship with the Dutch, and his large family, and his popularity contributed to perhaps the largest funeral procession that ever occurred in Solo. He had contributed large expenditure on the Royal Graveyard at Imogiri in the main sections of the graveyard, as well as towards the new section that he was buried in. In the era just prior to independence Surakarta had European, Chinese and Arab quarters.
After hearing the proclamation of Indonesian Independence, both Mangkunegara VII and Pakubuwono IX declared Surakarta a part of Republic of Indonesia (RI). Because of this support, President Soekarno declared Surakarta as Daerah Istimewa Surakarta (DIS)/"Surakarta Special Region".
In October 1945, an anti-"swapraja" (anti-feudalism/anti-monarchy) movement was established in Surakarta. One of the leaders of this movement was Tan Malaka, a member of the Indonesian Communist Party. This organization wanted to abolish all feudal kingdoms in Surakarta, the Surakarta special region (DIS), and replace all regents in Surakarta. The key debate was whether the end of Dutch rule should bring a total change in the government, or whether the ancient and historic institutions, giving the people a link to pre-colonial times, should be retained.
October 17, 1945, KRMH Sosrodiningrat, the vizier of Mangkunegara kingdom was kidnapped and murdered by communists. The new vizier, KRMT Yudonagoro and 9 other officials from Kepatihan were also kidnapped and murdered by the same movement in March 1946.
In 1946, the capital of Republic of Indonesia (RI) was moved to the nearby city of Yogyakarta.
On June 16, 1946, the DIS was abolished replaced with regency (kabupaten) of Surakarta. This event is commemorated as the birthday of the city of Surakarta. This only has administrative and not civic significance.
President Soekarno (more often called Sukarno) was angry at this kidnapping and on July 1, 1946, 14 civilian leaders of this movement, including Tan Malaka was arrested by Indonesian police.
On July 2, 1946, the rebel leaders were freed from Wirogunan prison by rebel troops, led by Maj. Gen. Soedarsono.
President Soekarno asked the local military commander in Surakarta, Lieutenant Colonel Soeharto (later becoming President Soeharto [often spelled Suharto]) to arrest Major General Soedarsono and the rebel group. Lt. Col. Soeharto refused to follow this command unless it was given directly by the Military Chief of Staff, General Soedirman. President Soekarno was angry at this rejection of his authority to give direct commands to all levels of the military, and called Lt. Col. Soeharto a stubborn ("koppig") officer.
Lt. Col. Soeharto pretended that he supported the rebellion and persuaded Maj. Gen. Soedarsono and his group to stay at his Head Quarters at Wiyoro, Surakarta for their own safety. Later that night he persuaded Maj. Gen. Soedarsono to meet President Soekarno at his palace on the next morning. Lt. Col. Soeharto secretly informed the presidential guard troops about Maj. Gen. Soedarsono plan on the next morning.
On July 3, 1946, Maj. Gen. Soedarsono and his group was arrested by the presidential guard troops near the palace. PM Syahrir was released unharmed. Several months later, Maj. Gen. Soedarsono and his group were pardoned and released from prison.
Later this rebellion was called the "failed July 3, 1946 coup". This event is mentioned in President Soeharto's autobiography published in 1988.
From 1945 to 1948, the Dutch re-occupied various regions in Java. The remaining area of Republic Indonesia were in Yogyakarta, Surakarta and surrounding areas.
In December 1948, the Dutch attacked and occupied the cities of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. The Indonesian army led by General Soedirman started a guerrilla war from surrounding areas. The Dutch said that RI was destroyed and no longer existed.
To disprove this claim, the Indonesian army conducted large scale raids into the cities of Jogyakarta and Surakarta called "Serangan Oemoem". The Indonesian troops managed to beat the Dutch troops and occupy the city for several hours. The leader of the raid to Yogyakarta was Lt. Col. Soeharto. The leader of a similar raid on Surakarta on August 7, 1949 was Lt. Col. Slamet Riyadi.
To commemorate this event, the main street on the city of Surakarta is renamed as "Brigadier General Slamet Riyadi Street".
By 1950 Surakarta had a population of 165,484 In 1950 Surakarta, or Solo, was a trade center for such agricultural products as rice, rubber, corn, indigo, cassava and sugar. It also had seen the development of some industries. These included tanning, textiles and machinery. Also batik making was a common activity.
In May 1998, there was a large scale riot in Surakarta. At first, it was the oil price getting higher that triggered the riot. Angry mob ransacked and set many buildings on fire, particularly banks and official government buildings. But then the situation became uncontrolled as the mob targeted shopping centers and other commercial buildings to be destroyed as well, before it finally turned into a racial riot as rioters targeted houses and business assets of the local Indonesian-Chinese, leading to widespread destruction in the region.
In the early 1980s, Abu Bakar Bashir and Husein Al Habshi established Pesantren Ngruki, an Islamic school in Surakarta. Their views are considered by some to be extreme and hard line, and a threat to the pluralistic and democratic nature of Indonesian society. In 1984-1985, an extreme Muslim group with connections to the Ngruki school began plotting violent actions. They planned to attack foreign tourists in the nearby Borobudur temple and on the island of Bali. However the bomb at Borobudur exploded prematurely early in the morning, and no one was hurt. The bomb sent to Bali exploded prematurely on the "Pemudi" bus on the way from Surakarta to Bali. In 1985, Basyir and Habshi were arrested by the police. They were sentenced to several years in prison. They appealed the sentence and during the appeal process, Basyir managed to escape to Malaysia and stayed there for 14 years. In Malaysia, Basyir and Sungkar established the "Jemaah Islamiyah" (JI) organization. In 1999, Basyir returned to Indonesia and established an Islamist group called Majelis Mujahideen Indonesia (MMI) in Surakarta. This group often conducts sweeps against foreign tourists from the USA, the UK, Denmark, and Italy in Surakarta.
From 2002 to 2005, terrorists related to the JI group were blamed for bomb attacks against foreign tourist in various areas in Indonesia. Some believe most JI terrorists are alumni of "Pesantren Ngruki" in Surakarta. However since most of these Islamist radicals are still at large it is hard to say what their full history is.
One of the most prominent South East Asian terrorists, Noordin M. Top, a Malaysian national, was also killed in a shootout outside Solo on September 17th 2009.
Surakarta will soon turn into SOLO. This begins with the movement of association of retired municipal government officials gather public support to change the name of the city from Surakarta to SOLO because of the ambiguity. The municipal government often used SOLO as an identity or image. Meanwhile, the administrative name of Surakarta is still in use.
Retired municipal government officials will hold a meeting with association of tour and travel agents (ASITA), chamber of commerce and industry, political parties and other stakeholders. This proposal also got the attention of the municipal government and the regional parliament. Even the regional parliament will include the replacement name points from Surakarta to SOLO into the discussion of local regulations regarding heritage in late February or early March 2010.
The mother tongue of Surakartans is a local variety Javanese, which differs in some aspects from other areas speaking Javanese. For example, for Surakatans the Javanese word for "cold" is adem, but in Semarang it is atis. The Javanese language of Surakarta and Yogyakarta is used as the standard for all Javanese speakers throughout the nation. Indonesia's official national language Indonesian.
Surakarta (airport code: SOC) is located 60 KM from Yogyakarta (airport code: JOG) and shares many of the tourism spots. Candi Borobudur, Candi Prambanan, Candi Ratu Boko, Candi Kalasan and many other "Candi" or ancient temples are the historical tourism spots. The Pasar Klewer is famous for the batiks, the Pasar Triwindhu specializes in antiques.
Accommodations are widely available, from small lodgings to international chain hotels.
Food associated with Surakarta includes Nasi Liwet, Nasi Timlo, 'Gudeg, Serabi, Intip, Roti Mandarin, and Bakpia Balong.
^ VisitSolo.com - Surakarta turns into SOLO
Solo lies some 100 kilometers south of Semarang and some 60 kilometers east of Yogyakarta. As the 'twin' sister of Yogyakarta, this city looks much like the later. But because Solo is not a provincial capital, this city has preserved much of its Javanese character. This also means that Solo is less touristy than Yogyakarta.
Today's Solo is a bustling economic center of some 800,000 (with the suburbs). It is in close proximity to the temples of Prambanan. The town is a center of art and education, offers some good shopping and has some range of tourist facilities.
Solo is very well known of its charming and soft-spoken people. It is said as the least westernized city in Central Java.
Solo's Adisumarmo International Airport (SOC), 10 km north of town, is a small airport. There are 8 flights a day to Jakarta. The "international" part of the name comes from Silk Air's direct services to Singapore. Malaysia's low cost airline Air Asia now flies daily to Kuala Lumpur. If using taxi, you should buy a ticket in a ticket shelter. Just name your destination and pay the amount they ask, and you will be assigned to a registered taxi.
You can also fly to Yogyakarta's Adisucipto International Airport. The distance between Yogyakarta and Solo is only 60km and any taxi will be glad to take you.
The main bus station is actually not in Solo city itself, but in Kartasura, some 12 kilometers west of the center. There are regular services throughout the island, including Jakarta (10 hours) and Surabaya (5 hours).
The city bus terminal, Terminal Tirtonadi, services more local destinations such as Yogyakarta, for Rp 8,000
Express trains to Jakarta take around 8 hours. Other trains take longer, sometimes much longer. Express trains serving Solo include Argo Lawu, Argo Dwipangga, Bima and Gajayana expresses (to/from Jakarta, all AC), Argo Wilis and Lodaya (to/from Bandung), Argo Wilis and Sancaka (to/from Surabaya).
The main station is Solobalapan. Other stations are present, i.e. Purwosari and Solojebres, but only used for ekonomi and local services to Yogyakarta.
Taxi is the easiest way to go around. It is cheap, and you can even book it for the whole trip. You can negotiate for the price. Ask in your hotel reception if they can arrange one for you. Or they may also have a car to rent (mostly including the driver).
Becak are an entertaining way of seeing the city, albeit quite slowly. Expect Becak drivers to quote prices inflated to at least 3 times for the average tourist.
Soto is a sort-of clear soup made from vegetables, spices, chicken or beef. You can find various kinds of soto in Solo:
Timlo Solo is a famous soup made from beef, white noodles, boiled potatoes, carrots, celery, and cabbages.
Gudeg is also worth to try, even though people said that gudeg originally comes from Jogja, however, Gudeg Solo is quite different from the one from Jogja. Gudeg Jogja is dried and sweet. While Gudeg Solo is usually served with sauce. Gudeg Margoyudan is one of the unique vendor. The specialty of it is its boiled chicken legs to accompany the complete Nasi Gudeg offers. The other unique feature is, it opens at the dawn around 01.00 in the morning. and by 05.00 it will close. After the night travel around Solo, warm NAsi Gudeg will be a great treat for stomach. Eventhough it is located at the strettside, most of the time you have to take the long line up before served. Gudeg cakar Margoyudan represents one symbol of sleepless life in Solo.
Nasi Liwet is almost similar to "Nasi Uduk" which is very famous in Jakarta or west Java. It is rice, which is cooked with 'santan' or coconut milk. The vendors for traditional nasi liwet easily be found in Keprabon street. The most famous vendor is Bu Lemu, but along the Keprabon you can find most of the vendor add the name Lemu after their own name.
Other than Serabi, Solo offers a rich varities of snack, ranged from dry snack, (onde-onde ceplus, kripik cakar, kripik paru, kerak nasi goreng) to keleman (fresh snack) (solo, wajik, jadah, kue ku, lapis, cara bikang). Sosis Solo has been identified as the specialty snack from Solo, is made of chopped beef combined with spices wrapped in by thin egg pancake. You can find the rich varities of traditional fresh snacks once you walk into Pasar Gede.
Dawet or called 'cendol' in west java/Jakarta tastes so good to cool you down during the hot days in Solo. This drink is made with coconut milk and brown-javanese sugar and sort-of gelatine. Thus this is sweet and usually served with ice-cubes. Gempol plered is made from coconut milk with rice ball and a look like some kind of 'pangsit'. Sometimes it served with rock ice. The taste is mix between sweet and litle bit salty.
The region's first green boutique hotel steeped in modern minimalist style, warm and comforting for all kinds of discerning travellers — from businesspeople to backpackers — with its cozy ambience, secure and traditional neighbourhood, and elegant style.
Hospitals with 24 hours emergency room (ER):
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!|