The city of art and culture, Yogyakarta is the capitol of the Yogyakarta Special Region in Java. Here education, fine art, music, drama, ballet and poetry flourish along with ancient architectural sites and historical buildings. Of the most visited of all the sites here is the 9th century Borobudur, the largest Mahanyana Buddhist Temple in the world. Built by King Samaratungga of the Wangsa Dynasty in 824 AD this shrine has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Toped by three circular platforms the temple contains 2,600 relief panels and around 500 Buddha statues. This edifice to the dynasty lies between the Sumbing and iconic Merapi volcanoes and it is recommended to reach the top at sunrise for a breath-taking visual.
Yogyakarta is also the home of the Keraton, the regions royal palace. Built by a Portuguese architect in the mid 18th century as a recreation and secure defensive centre with swimming pools and resting rooms for the Sultanate of Yogyakarta it has become known as the Taman Sari Water Castle. This was the place the royal family took refuge in when under threat by enemies. Nowadays tourists and locals alike visit to promenade through the lovely gardens.