Kraton Sumenep is located in Sumenep, Madura Island, East Java, covering 12 hectares and in the middle located Pendopo Agung with typical ornaments. A big banyan tree grows on the left side, makes the ambiance more sacred and strong. This palace looks like a gigantic photograph in a historical frame.
Although currently Keraton Sumenep is not used as a house for king and his royal family, but the building of more than 200 years, is very preserved. Bureaucratically, Sumenep has been changed and led by Bupati or regent after King Panembahan Notokusumo II (1854-1879). Other building in Keraton compound are not use danymore, except at the back side, facing north, and later used as Regent house. Pendopo is used as meeting venue for government, and also as venue for art and culture performance.
The building is still original only the floor has been renovated. Initially the floor was made of marble and now it is ceramic. The main building has 2 floors. The upper floor was used for princess before marry (pingit = 40 days isolated). There are 4 room at the first floor where king lived, each for king, queen, king’s father room and king’s mother room.
Generally, the architecture of Keraton Sumenep is a mix of European, Arab and China. European style can be seen from the pillars and the curve of ornaments. While Chinese style showed by engravings. The carving of Hong bird was the symbol of splendor that was considered as sacred by Chinese. There is also dragon symbolizes powerful and few pomegranates symbolize fertility, and also red and green color.
One of the palace architects was Lauw Piango, a Chinese, and he was buried in Asta Tinggi compound, where Sumenep kings and their family buried. It said that leader for the palace construction was Ka Seng An, and later the village where he lived was named as Kasengan.
In Sumenep history, king’s palace was moved from place to place. At the beginning, in the period of King Aria Wiraraja, from Singasari, Sumenep Keraton was located at Banasare village, Rubaru, and also had been moved to Dungkek village in the period of King Jokotole (1415-1460). Other regions indicated as Keraton Sumenep are Tanjung, Keles, Bukabu, Baragung , Kepanjing and other regions, before built the last site of Palace that can be seen today.
Panembahan Somala initiated to built Katemenggungan after war with Blambangan, in 1198 H. Keraton was finished in 1200 H or 1780. Not far from the palace located the Jami Mosque, that had been built since Pangeran Anggadipa (1626-1644 M). The location is on the north of Keraton. THis mosque name is Masjid Laju (Madurese for old). This mosque was exclusively used by royal family. Right in front of the mosque, there is city square, now has been redesigned as flower garden. And at the south, located museum. The current fence is the remains of R Tumenggung Aria Prabuwinata period, before substituted by sharp spear iron, kraton fence was 2 meters high tick wall. The remains of fence can still be found behind kraton, in front of current regent house. The building used as Tourism Dept office was not part of kraton, it was known as Gedong Negeri, although it was located in kraton complex. This european style building built in 1931, in Dutch colonial era.