Yogyakarta: Magical City of Java

By: Jovana Bozilovic
The heart of Java is Yogyakarta. A city where magic still exist. Full of history, art and legends. Yogyakarta is a capital of special region in Central Java. The second most visited in Indonesia with numerous Universities. It’s a favorite destination not just for artists and students, also for nature lovers. I would say for ghost hunters as well, those who claim that can feel the magical energy can explain you why. It’s easy to find them, on the street, cafeteria or at the University.
The south, surrounded by the Southern sea while the north is protected by Merapi volcano, Sultan’s palace can be found in between, in the center of the city. The location of the palace is not just a coincidence. As it was builty as the highest building in Jogja, with two town square in the south and north and the imagined straight line cutting the space between Beringin trees on the both squares, it should’ve provided royal family a view to the both sides – amzing volcano or mystical sea.
Jogja is much more than history and art, more than monuments and museums, bigger than just a tourist place. It’s about emotions and feelings, it’s all about how it makes you feel, and the way it takes you back in time with its own magic. Place where time has stopped, unique and special in its own way. 
A city run by the sultan, city where royal cemeteries are not just a cultural attraction, but also the sacred places where people come and pay, a place where people, both uneducated and those with academic background believe in magic and mysticism, where you can find a Catholic church with a Hindu temple in the garden, a mosque with Hindu and Javanese architecture or a Saint Maria statue in a cave church, in the middle of nowhere. 
It’s place where people don’t swim not just because they can not, also because they are afraid of the sea creature, city where legends and myths are not just good night stories. It fels like this is a place where everything is possible, but also impossible at the same time. It’s a perfect place to experience how globalization affects and feels like, and the proof that there are too many ways to keep up with tradition and modernization in the same time. 
At the first sight nothing makes sense and everything reminds of somewhat chaotic, but looking under the surface you start admiring how everything works synchronized and in complete order. Not even sure how this would sounds like, but I must say that here, even graveyards and hospital gardens look magical and special.
Once you get used to crowded and narrow streets, small stacks of trash on fire around, to a smell of fried food on the sidewalks. Javanese songs and melodies all around or mosques’ noise in the early mornings, when you get used to people shouting at you, hello mister, kamu cantik and smile at you with an innocent and shy face, once it becomes a daily routine and you don’t find it strange or weird anymore, once you start believing in magic and legends – that means you felt in love with Jogjakarta, Yogyakarta or Jogja, people can call it cultural center of Indonesia or art city, but if anyone asks me I will always call Jogja my second home.

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