Pagaruyung Palace

My contribution for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Architecture, is about Istano Basa Pagaruyuang (Pagaruyung Palace).

pagaruyung-01Pagaruyung Palace (Minangkabau: Istano Basa Pagaruyuang) is the istana (royal palace) of the former Pagaruyung Kingdom, located in Tanjung Emas subdistrict near Batusangkar town, Tanah Datar Regency, West Sumatra, Indonesia. It was built in the traditional Minangkabau rumah gadang vernacular architectural style, but had a number of atypical elements including three storeys structure and larger dimension compares to common rumah gadang.


Although today there is no king or royal family resides in this palace, since the Pagaruyung Kingdom was disbanded in 1833, the palace still held in high esteem among Minangkabau people as the descendants of scattered Minang nobles (bangsawan) still seeks their root and link to the former royal house of Pagaruyung. The palace has been destroyed by fire for several times, in 1804, 1966 and 2007. It has been rebuilt again and today functions as a museum and a popular tourist attraction.



The original Pagaruyung palace was built entirely from timber masonry, however the current building frame was built using modern concrete structure. Nevertheless, theIstano Basa Pagaruyung was quite faithfully restored using traditional technique and materials adorned with 60 carvings that signify Minang philosophy and culture. The palace has three storeys with 72 pillars and the typical rumah gadang gonjong, with horn-like curved roof made from 26 tons of black ijuk aren palm fibers. The palace is also furnished with over 100 replicas of Minang antique furnitures and artefacts, aiming the palace to be revived as Minangkabau cultural center as well as tourism attraction in West Sumatra.



The original Pagaruyung palace was built on Batu Patah Hill and was burned down during a riot in Padri War back in 1804. The palace was rebuilt again, but destroyed again in fire in 1966. The building was being rebuilt again in 1976 as the replica of the original Pagaruyung palace. The restoration of the palace marked with the erection of tunggak tuo (main columns) on 27 December 1976 by West Sumatra Governor Harun Zain. After the completion, the palace has become well-known to the public as a museum and tourist attraction. This building was not built on the original site, but moves south from the original site.

The palace was destroyed by fire on the evening of 27 February 2007 after the roof was struck by lightning. It was estimated only 15 percent of valuable artefacts survived the fire. Today the surviving artefacts were stored in Balai Benda Purbakala Kabupaten Tanah Datar (Archaeology Authority of Tanah Datar Regency). The pusaka or heirloom of the Pagaruyung Kingdom was stored in Silinduang Bulan Palace, located about 2 kilometer from Pagaruyung Palace. Restoration of the building has taken six years and an estimated Rp 20 billion (US$1,71 million) to complete. The building was completed and inaugurated by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in October 2013.


7 thoughts on “Pagaruyung Palace

  1. Pingback: Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: All about Cities (Skylines to Street Photography) | Cee's Photography

  2. Pingback: Cee’s Weekly Wrap May 28, 2016 and DP Weekly Photo Challenge-Numbers | Cee's Photography

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s