Keraton information

admission by donation
Opening hours
9am-5pm Mon-Fri, to 3pm Sat, to 1pm Sun; festival 6-13 April
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Built in 1834 and restored in semicolonial style, the Sultan’s Palace is still a family home. The palace contains a museum section with a small but interesting collection of historic weaponry and memorabilia from the reigns of past sultans, whose lineage dates back to 1257. You need a special invitation from the sultan to see the famous mahkota (royal crown). Topped with cassowary feathers, it supposedly has magical powers such as growing ‘hair’, which needs periodic cutting. Some claim it can even stop Gamalama from erupting. The mahkota is only worn at coronations and during the Legu Gam ceremonies, Ternate’s main festival. Legu Gam culminates on the sultan’s birthday and involves a variety of traditional musicians, dancers and performers. On the 27th evening of Ramadan, Laila tul Qadr celebrations see the sultan’s procession arrive to a mass of flaming torches at the Royal Mosque , which has impressive heavy interior timber work.

The Keraton is sometimes closed, even during normal hours of operation. At the time of research, a separate building was being built for the museum. It was scheduled to open in 2013, but by the look of things, that may have been ambitious.