Jakarta, IO – The Surakarta Grand Mosque, formerly known as the Ageng Keraton Hadiningrat Mosque, is one of the legacies of the Islamic Mataram Kingdom. It sits to the west of the northern square of the Surakarta Palace and is still in use today. It was once known as the center of Islamic preaching in Solo.
According to Masjidagungsolo.com, Thursday (23/3), the establishment of the mosque was closely linked to the relocation of Mataram Kingdom center from Kartasura to Surakarta during the reign of Sunan Pakubuwana II circa 1749 due to the Geger Pecinan (Chinatown riot) which caused the destruction of Keraton Kartasura. Thus, the mosque was built simultaneously with the new palace.
The architecture was inspired by the Great Mosque of Demak, which is shaped like a joglo (traditional Javanese style house) and a three-tiered roof which symbolizes Islam, faith and charity. At that time, the Great Mosque of Demak was a symbol of the golden age of Islam in Java. Thus, it is only natural that the center for the spread of Islam which was built during the reign of Raden Patah in the 15th century was used as a model for mosques constructed by the rulers of the Islamic Mataram dynasty, including Pakubuwana II.
Sitting on nearly a hectare of land, the main building measures 34.2 x 33.5 m and can accommodate up to 2,000 worshipers. In the past, courtiers who were sent to become members of the mosque’s welfare council were required to first study at the Mam Ba’ul ‘Ulum Madrasah (school). Other than being a place of worship, the mosque also signify royal power and Islamic center of learning.
Currently, the Surakarta Grand Mosque is the epitome of Islamic tradition at the Surakarta Palace. Various events are regularly held here whether religious or cultural ones. (bp)