Rumah Bolon

North Sumatra

Located between Berastagi and Danau Toba, this impressive, well-tended palace complex sits on the edge of the village of Pematang Purba. It was the home of the Simalungan Batak chiefs until the last one died in 1947. It's a peaceful site to explore and you can go inside a number of the magnificent traditional buildings. Most people visit as part of a tour from Berastagi, but otherwise you can take an angkot to Kabanjaje (5000Rp), from where there are connections to Rumah Bolon (10,000Rp).

The site consists of a large main building that functioned as the chief's quarters and as a harem. The buffalo skulls inside the main building symbolise the power of the chief. The remainder of the complex contains meeting halls, assistants’ houses and rice-storage areas.

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