Pagaruyung Palace

Batusangkar town, West Sumatra

Photo Credit: Bayu Arthaseno

Built in the traditional style of the Minangkabau people, the Pagaruyung Palace reflects the culture and values of an ancient civilization. This area in Western Sumatra was the seat of the Pagaruyung Kingdom, and though little is known about it, the Palace serves as a link to the past for the Kingdom’s descendants. 

Built in the traditional Minangkabau Rumah Gadang architectural style, the palace served as a home, meeting place, and ceremonial space. It has three stories with 72 pillars and a dramatic, curved roof with multi-tiered, up swept gables. Over 100 replicas of Minang antique furniture and artifacts help recreate the look of the original interior.   

The Pagaruyung Kingdom was disbanded in 1833, and since then no king or royal family has resided in the palace. The building, however, is still held in high esteem among Minang people. Because of this, the palace has been rebuilt after being destroyed by fire not one, but three times. 

The first fire occurred in 1804 during a riot in the Padri War. Over a century later, the rebuilt Palace succumbed to fire yet again, but was soon restored. Then in 2007, the Palace was struck by lightning and again burned to the ground. 

Today, the Palace’s surviving artifacts are stored nearby at West Sumatra’s Archaeology Authority. After a six-year restoration, the Palace reopened in 2013 and continues to operate as a top cultural destination and tourist attraction.

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