The palace is known in Yogyakarta as the Keraton. Although it’s open for visitors in the morning, it is still a functioning part of the political sphere here in the region. The sultan holds that particular title in name, not power, since the declaration of Indonesian independence in 1945 – but he is also automatically the governor of the region. Therefore the Keraton is used for official functions, political meetings, and as the royal residence.
There is also a cultural link with the compound and the people. In some ways it is almost a spiritual connection. The Keraton was designed to reflect the Javanese cosmos. It faces towards the volcanic Mount Merapi in one direction and towards the Indian Ocean, home of the important Indonesian sea spirit, in the other.