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Solo, between Culture and Nature

Solo (Surakarta) is a city from the ancient kingdom of Moslem Mataram. In 1956, the Moslem Mataram Kingdom separated into two smaller kingdoms, the Surakarta Kingdom and Yogyakarta Kingdom. In 1957, the Surakarta Kingdom was divided again into two, and Raden Mas Said became the Prince of Mangkunegaran, an independent kingdom of the Surakarta area.

Solo is a city located 60 km east of Yogyakarta. The name comes from the name of a river that passes through this city and is the longest in Java. The river is well-known because we found the fossil of the first Javanese man that we called “Pithecanthropus Erectus”. We have done a lot of research along the river. We found a lot of Mammoth’s and hippopotamus fossils. The government then built a museum of Sangiran to preserve the results of this research.

At the exit of Mangkunegaran Palace, you will find a market of wooden antique goods like puppets, statues, masks, and another decorative objects for houses. You could find metal objects too, like gamelan, lamps, and statues.

At the exit of Solo Palace, you can find the biggest cloth market, ”Pasar Klewer” and ”Pasar Gede” which are a traditional market that sells tropical fruits, vegetables, spices, and other groceries. The market symbolizes the daily life of Indonesians.

Photos du Palais Mangkunegaran, Kasunanan, Le marche traditionnel.


Mount Lawu, 40 km east of Solo, is a favorite destination of the citizens of Solo. Tawangmangu is a regional park known for the beautiful waterfall of Grojogan Sewu and the center of vegetable farming, like carrots, potatoes, and sprouts. You could walk around the village and the farm to discover the daily life of the villagers.

Mount Lawu is also known for the erotic temples of Sukuh and Cetho. You will find relief in the form of man and woman’s sexual part. The temples were built around the 15th century by the heir of the Majapahit Kingdom. Majapahit was the last Hindu kingdom of Java. The people who didn’t want to change their religion to Islam moved to central Java, the Bromo volcano, and Bali.

Photos: Temple Sukuh, Cetho, Cascade de Grojogansewu, la culture en terrasse de legumes.

The west flank of Mount Lawu is also known for the beautiful terraced rice fields, the clove, and the plantation of rubber and tea. You could walk around the beautiful nature on the unordinary path, with fewer tourists.

Destinations of Java
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