"Semarapura, AKA Klungkung" Klungkung by Ubudian

Klungkung Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 33 photos

Semarapura, Historically Most Important Kingdom

Any visitor with a love of history and historic sites should make a visit to Klungkung, which has been renamed Semarapura, in recognition of it original and historical name.

In the coming year, 2008, this area of Bali will be the center of activity recognizing the one hundredth anniversary of the fall of this once most important kingdom of Bali to the Dutch in a great mass suicide called the puputan of April 1908.

While much of the city and elaborate palace structures were destroyed by the Dutch during their 1908 invasion, it has been carefully rebuilt, and today, Semarapura is one of the most distinctive cities in Bali. The main road, Jalan Diponegoro is a very wide boulevard reminiscent of great European cities.

Of greatest note and interest is the Taman Kertha Gosa complex which is the restored palace grounds first erected in 1710. The two most important buildings in this complex, and very worthy of spending some time enjoying, are the Kertha Gosa, or the Hall of Justice and the Bale Kambang also known as the Floating Pavilion. There is also an interesting museum called the Museum Semarajaya which has undergone a number of improvements in recent years.

The ceilings of Hall of Justice and the Floating Pavilion are each decorated with very interesting paintings done in the Kamasan style. Kamasan is the name of a small village a little southeast of Semarapura. It was in Kamasan where this very early and distinctive style of painting, which was adopted by the royal court, originated. These ceiling painting have all been restored or replaced over time, but they remain faithful to the 18th century originals. Normally there are very good guides converse in several languages to help explain the meaning and significance of these ceiling paintings.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Historically very significant and worthwhile to visit.
  • Cons:Generally very hot from noon to mid afternoon.
  • In a nutshell:For art and history lovers, this is a must.
  • Last visit to Klungkung: Jan 2007
  • Intro Updated Apr 11, 2007
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