Gebang Palace: Unveiling the Legacy of Soekarno in Blitar

Saturday, 02 December 2023 - 04:07
Gebang Palace: Unveiling the Legacy of Soekarno in Blitar Gebang Palace, the former house of the first President of Indonesia, Ir. Soekarno. (Photo: Dwi Lailatus Saadah/TIMES Indonesia)

TIMES JAZIRAH, BLITAR – Nestled on Jl. Sultan Agung No. 59 in Blitar City, East Java Gebang Palace or Istana Gebang emerges as a living testament to the formative years of one of Indonesia's most esteemed heroes, Ir. Soekarno.

Situated just a kilometer away from the Bung Karno Tomb, this historical residence transports visitors back to the early 20th century, offering a unique insight into the life of the nation's founding father.

Constructed in 1884 during the 19th century, coinciding with the establishment of the Blitar railway station, Gebang Palace has evolved from a colonial-era residence to a symbol of Indonesia's rich heritage.

As the Soekarno family, including Ir. Soekarno, Ida Ayu Nyoman Rai, Soekemi Sosrodihardjo, Soekarmini, and her husband Raden Poegoeh Reksoatmodjo, settled here around 1917, the palace witnessed pivotal moments in the young leader's life.

Today, Gebang Palace has been repurposed into a historical museum under the stewardship of the Blitar City Government. Spanning 15,000 m², the complex encompasses various chambers, including the main house, two family residences, a rear building, a pavilion, a rear kitchen, a servant's house, a barn, an old horse stable, and an art hall.

Tourists flock to this site not just for its historical significance but also for the well-preserved authenticity of Ndalem Gebang. The museum allows visitors to stroll through the very rooms where Ir. Soekarno spent his youth, surrounded by traditional artifacts and period-specific furnishings.

Beyond the architectural charm, the palace grounds host an art hall on the western side. This venue sees vibrant community activities, particularly dance rehearsals, adding a dynamic element to the historical atmosphere.

Notably, Gebang Palace serves as the focal point for special events on significant dates. June, for instance, witnesses the Bulan Bung Karno (Bung Karno Month) celebration, a series of activities commemorating Pancasila Day on June 1, Ir. Soekarno's birthday on June 6, and the remembrance of the first President's passing on June 21.

Gebang Palace or Istana Gebang not only preserves the physical space where Ir. Soekarno once lived but also provides an immersive journey through Indonesia's past, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a deeper connection with the nation's history.(*)

Writer : Khodijah Siti
Editor : Khodijah Siti

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