Old protective wall of the Mataram palace
Circle shaped palace
This pile of stones are the last remains of the cepuri or inner fortress of the Mataram palace. Uniquely, the palace was not square but circular shaped. That’s why the stones are locally known as the butt (bokong) of Semar, a well-rounded figure in Javanese mythology. His ‘round shape’ and clownesque appearance make him a very popular character in wayang puppet shadow plays. But, despite the jokes he actually one of the most wise and sacred.
Near the wall is the tomb of Nyai Melati, a royal servant who dedicated her life to the noble task of ‘cleaning the King’s bed’. So close to the king’s tomb, she must have played a special role in his life and is therefore somewhat of a local legend. Locals come here to spend the night and pray to her spirit, they say it still roams around the graveyard.
According to local belief, next to the Bokong Semar where now the football field is located, was once a mythical lake where the royal elephants would have their bath.