About the Mangkunegaran Palace

The Mangkunegaran government was born through an extensive historical process.  The intrigues behind the designation of Pakubuwana II upon the throne caused a chaotic political reign.  The situation worsened with the arrival of the Chinese from Batavia who ran to the east to elude the pursuing VOC troops.  In the beginning, the Chinese and Pakubuwana II joined forces.  Pakubuwana II, however, saw little benefit from the union since they still seemed weak in their battle against the VOC.  As a result, the king turned against the Chinese troops which led to the occupation of the palace by Chinese rebels, led by Mas Garendi, son of Pangeran Tepasna and the grandson of Amangkurat III whose throne was overthrown by Pangeran Puger who later carried the title Pakubuwana I.

Amidst the state of turmoil, Pakubuwana II left the palace that was overrun by rebels and fled to Ponorogo.  The rebellion was appeased with help from the VOC and the king was able to return to Kartasura.  Upon finding the palace in a state of devastation due to fire, Pakubuwana II built a new palace on 17 February 1745 located east of the original palace, naming it Surakarta Hadiningrat.  Even with the new location, the palace still faced rebellion, first by Raden Mas Said, followed by an attack of Pakubuwana II’s younger brother, PangeranMangkubumi.  On 15 December 1749 not long after the relocation of the palace, Pakubuwana II passed away and was succeeded by his son who took the name Pakubuwana III.  Before his death, the king had entrusted the kingdom to the VOC through Major Hogendorf.  Thus began the reign of Pakubuwana III as the puppet of VOC.  This situation only fueled more rebellions, although a moment of peace came to relieve the kingdom when Pakubuwana III and Pangeran Mangkubumi signed the Giyanti treaty on 13 February 1755, where a new palace, Kasultanan Yogyakarta, spawned under the reign of Sultan Hamengkubuwana.  Yet, the Kasunanan Surakarta palace was confronted with many more rebellions that had continued over many years led by Raden Mas Said.  Unsafe conditions due to the rebellions compelled the king to draft an agreement with Raden Mas Said and sign a treaty at Kalicacing, Salatiga on 17 March 1757.  The treaty stated the following:

Raden Mas Said is appointed as,

  • Pangeran Miji (A prince who has equal  status with other Javanese kings).
  • As Pangeran Miji, he may not sit on the throne (DamparKencana).
  • The Pangeran Miji has no rights to hold a coronation ceremony as king and adorn the royal gear.
  • Is not entitled to have a Balai Witana (a room wherein the king sits to face his subjects).
  • Is not entitled to own an alun-alun and  a pair of twin banyan trees.
  • Is not allowed to carry out the death  penalty.
  • Will be granted 4,000 households  that cover the areas of Keduwang, Nglaroh, Matesih, Wiroko, Haribaya, Honggobayan, Sembuyan, Gunung Kidul, North and South Pajang.

After the above statements were agreed upon, the Dutch and Yogyakarta Sultanate officially acknowledged the presence of Praja Mangkunegaran that reigned from the south of the Pepe River, better known as Mangkunegaran Palace and ruled by Kangjeng Gusti Pangeran Adipati Arya Mangkoenagara.  It was from this moment that the Mangkunegaran reign began.

Historical facts were written by:
– Sudharmono S.U, professor at the Faculty of Literature and Fine Arts University Sebelas Maret Surakarta
– Drs. Susanto, M. Hum, History Department, Faculty of History University Sebelas Maret