Taman Sari, Yogyakarta
It is one of the earliest royal mixed use that consists of resting area, workshop, meditation area, defense area, hiding place. Here are some facts about this place which you might not know:
It is also called "water castle" (Dutch: waterkasteel); as by shutting the watergates, the complex would be completely immersed in water, leaving tall structures standing out. Talking about a real life version of Kevin Costner’s fictional Water World, in the past.
Built by Foreign Architect
The manuscript of Serat Rerenggan mentions the story of Demang Tegis, a Portuguese man said to be one of the architect of Taman Sari. According to the manuscript, a strange man suddenly appeared in Mancingan Village (a locality name on the south coast of Java near Parangtritis). With long nose, white complexion, and a foreign language, the villagers suspected that the person was some kind of spirit or forest fairy. They presented him to the current sultan, Hamengkubuwono II. Apparently the sultan found interest in the person and took the strange man as his servant.
After some times, the man had finally learned to talk in Javanese. According to him, he was a Portuguese (or in Javanese, Portegis) who was stranded from a shipwreck. He also claimed to have been a housebuilder, so the sultan ordered him to erect a fortress. Satisfied by the man's work, the sultan gave him the title "demang." From then on that person was known as Demang Portegis or Demang Tegis
Another version obout the construction of this structure can be found in the book of Mamana in Yogyakarta Kraton. It is said that the project leader for the construction of Taman Sari was Tumenggung Mangundipura. He had travelled twice to Batavia to learn about European architecture, which is the reason why the architecture of Taman Sari resembles a hybrid of Javanese and Dutch styles, instead of Portuguese.
(Spiritual) Tunnel of Love
Chicks watching tower