Built in the 18th-century, Keraton Kasunanan housed the members of the Kasunanan royal family, heirs to the Mataram Sultanate and today is a museum where visitors can learn about the region’s rich royal history. Nearby Mangkunegaran palace was a residence for members of another royal family, that of the Mangkunegaran principality.
Solo is also a major centre for dyed batik fabric – the Danar Hadi Museum has a treasure trove of information about this prized local industry. Solo often vies for recognition as the epicentre of Javanese identity and tradition, seemingly locked in an eternal rivalry with nearby Yogyakarta. Solo is the birthplace of numerous notable luminaries, including the current President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo. It is said to be the least westernised city in Central Java.