Taman Sari also known as Tamansari Water Castle is a site of a former royal garden of the Sultanate of Yogyakarta built by Portuguese constructor in 18th century. It is located about 2 km south within the grounds of the Kraton Yogyakarta. The Taman Sari had multiple functions, such as a resting area, a workshop, a meditation area, a defense area, and a hiding place. Tamansari was built in the Sultan Hamengku Buwono I era by Raden Ronggo Prawirosentiko, the regent of Madiun Regency as the architect and Demang Tegis, a Portuguese man as the constructor. So, this Portuguese man gave his touch to the design.
It has a big pool inside and high tower at the north and south. Arch windows set on the wall of the tower. There are 2 big teakwood doors, at the west and east, both exits to Kampung Tamansari. In the past, the bath building is surrounded by beautiful wide scale park, being a favorite place for royal family to get a walk in morning and evening. Actually, the bath is one of the buildings on the complex; you also find a retreat place for Sultan and royal family near the water castle.
In the north of water castle, there are several buildings: Pulau Cemeti (Cemeti Island), Sumur Gumuling (Gumuling Well) and tens of secret tunnels. You can see Pulau Cemeti if you walk to the south of Pasar Ngasem (Ngasem Market). By stepped chairs, you can see landscape of the city at the top of the building. It used to scout enemy. Sumur Gumuling is a circular building, it has circular chair inside, like a well. It has 6 arch voids. The yellow sunlight comes to the open skylight; it’s beautiful in the morning. Historian says, Sumur Gumuling also used to be a mosque, but identified by scientist, it also been a big water catchment well to protect the complex from flood.