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The Cosmological Axis of Yogyakarta
UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Cosmological Axis of Yogyakarta and Its Historic Landmarks is an exceptional testimony to Javanese civilization and culture and exhibits an important interchange between belief systems and values.

The placement of the landmarks along the Cosmological Axis was designed to manifest in physical form the Javanese philosophical thoughts on human life, especially the cycle of life (Sangkan Paraning Dumadi), ideal harmonious life (Hamemayu Hayuning Bawana), the connection between human beings and the Creator (Manunggaling Kawula Gusti), and the microcosmic and macrocosmic worlds.

The property includes the Kraton (Palace) Complex and landmarks (monuments, structures and spaces) located along a tangible 6 km long south-north axis. The landmarks are connected spatially, in their design, through rituals, and by the traditional management system of the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat.

'Outstanding Universal Values'

The concept of 'Outstanding Universal Value' relates to cultural heritage which transcends national boundaries and is of common importance for present and future generations of all humanity.

Criterion (ii)

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“to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design”

The Cosmological Axis of Yogyakarta and Its Historic Landmarks exhibits an important interchange of human values and ideas between different and overlapping belief systems related to Javanese animism and ancestor worship, Hinduism and Buddhism from India, Sufi Islam from either India or the Middle East, and Western influences, which were adapted and integrated into the beliefs and culture of the Mataram Kingdoms over hundreds of years. This important and complex interchange of values has created a remarkable cultural ensemble evident in the property’s town planning, architecture and monuments, as well as ceremonies, festivals, and other intangible heritage elements that are practiced to this day.

Criterion (iii)

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“to bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared”

The Cosmological Axis of Yogyakarta and Its Historic Landmarks bears an exceptional testimony to Javanese civilization and living cultural traditions after the 16th century CE. The Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat remains the centre for Javanese civilization and its maintenance and development through the practice of various traditions of thought, governance, customary law (paugeran), arts, literature, festivals, ceremonies, and rituals at the property. A key element of the system is the Tata Rakiting Wewangunan concept, which has been developed and passed down through the Mataram Royal courts since the 16th century. Tata Rakiting Wewangunan refers to the holistic management of the tangible and intangible aspects of the Sultanate of Ngayogyakarta Hadiningrat, including buildings, decoration, plants, offerings, ceremonies, arts and uses of space in the Kraton Complex, the Royal Tombs, and more widely across the property.

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