Built in 1834 and restored in semi-colonial style, the Sultan’s Palace is technically a family home, although no one is in residence owing to a dispute over the succession between the sons of the last sultan, who passed away in 2015. There's a small but interesting collection of historic weaponry and memorabilia from the reigns of past sultans, whose lineage dates back to 1257. The Keraton is sometimes closed during advertised hours. No shorts or skirts above the knee allowed.
You need a special invitation from the sultan or his representatives to see the famous mahkota (royal crown). Topped with cassowary feathers, it supposedly has magical powers such as growing ‘hair’ and keeping the volcano in check. The mahkota is only worn at coronations and during the Legu Gam, or 'People's Festival'. The Legu Gam is Ternate's main festival and is held in April, culminating on the late sultan’s birthday and involves traditional performers, the Gam Maracahaya (a torch-lit flotilla) and a ritual scaling of Gamalama.