Long before the unification of Indonesia as a republic, the whole area was packed with many kingdoms. Almost every tribe had at least one kingdom. When Islam came, many of those kingdoms evolves into a sultanate. In fact, some of those sultanates still exist today. You can see that from the many sultan palaces there.
Sumatra is one of the first areas where Islam spread in Indonesia. It is no wonder that there are many sultanates on this island. You can still see the remains of those sultanates today. Here are some of the most beautiful Sultan Palaces in Sumatra.
Located at the center of Medan, Maimun Palace is the royal palace of Sultanate of Deli. Today, this palace has become of the most popular landmark in Medan. This palace was built by Sultan Ma’mun Al Rashid Perkasa Alamyah in the end of the 19th century. It has an interesting interior and decoration. Accordingly, this palace is very popular among tourists in Medan. Additionally, this palace is also an important historical heritage status.
Istano Basa Pagaruyung
This place is often called the Pagaruyung palace. This is the royal palace of the former Pagaruyung Sultanate. Located at Batusangkar, Tanah Datar Regency, this palace has the shape of classic Minangkabau Rumah Gadang. However, the palace also has atypical features like a three-story structure. The palace certainly attracts lots of tourists daily, you can barely find it empty.
Istano Silinduang Bulan
This is also the palace of Pagaruyung Kingdom, built in 1550 by King Gamuyang Alam. It has the classic Minangkau structural architecture, with seven Gonjong (roof tips). Also, there are many delicate carvings adorning this big wooden palace. Moreover, the palace has been through a lot, including civil war. There were rebuilding process in 1750 and 1869 for various reasons. The latest one, this palace was burned in 2010 so they have to rebuild it again.
Niat Lima Laras Palace
This is a rather new palace, built only in 1907. Located at Lima Laras Village, Tanjung Tiram District, Batu Bara Regency, this palace is some 136 kilometers away from Medan. This is the royal palace of Lima Laras Sultanate, a Melayu kingdom. Additionally, this palace is now undergoing partial renovation to bring it back to its former glory.
Aceh taking Regency has several royal palaces. First, there is Karang Palace, the royal palace of Benua Karang Kingdom. Secondly, there is Benua Raja, the royal palace of Benua Tunu Kingdom. Lastly, King Seruway Palace. All three of them are not the biggest palaces you’d see, but they are proof that there used to be lots of Kingdoms and Sultanate in the area.
At the northern part of Sumatra, there are lots of royal palaces, even though some are from small kingdoms and sultanates. Most of those palaces can be very crowded with visitors during Ramadan.