Religious Architecture: Gala Mosque, Tembayat, Central Java (Indonesia)

Gala mosque is among the oldest mosque in Java that survives through time. The mosque is located on the top of Bayat hill, Klaten, Central Java, Indonesia. First erected during the reign of Ki Ageng Pandanaran II, the Semarang’s chief of Demak kingdom, between 1496 to 1512 CE.

Gala mosque had been renovated for a couple of times. The most recent was in 2007 after a major earthquake strikes Central Java and devastated many of heritage buildings on May 2006.

(the cracking mihrab caused by the earthquake)

This unique mosque is one of the examples of Indo-Javanese culture style. Many of the earliest mosques built in Java have a local appearances mixed with Islamic and Hindu-Buddhist style of architecture. The “top of the hill building” is one characteristic of the Hindu-Buddhist religious buildings in Java, while the tick wall was influenced from Gujarati architecture and the “tajug” wooden-tile roof structure was from Javanese traditional architecture.

Since 1990s, Tembayat’s Gala Mosque was set as the Objects of Cultural Property (Tangible Heritage) by the Indonesian Institute for Preservation of Archaeological Heritage (BP3) based on Law No. 5 year 1992.

(side view)

(side view)

(the pilgrim path stair heading to the mausoleum and mosque)

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