Tips for tourists before visiting Cirebon

Traditional dancer in Cirebon

Traditional dancer in Cirebon ©Scott (SA-Photo)/Flick

Cirebon is a port city located on the north coast of the Island of Java. The city is located at about 300 kilometers from Jakarta, near the border with Central Java, and is part of West Java Province. Being on the border between the two, most locals of the city of Cirebon speak a mixture of Sudan and the Javanese language, and it is believed that the city name is given by a word in the Javanese language, which means “mixture”.

According to some rows fro the Purwaka Caruban Nagari manuscript, the city of Cirebon was a small fishing village in the fifteenth century,called Muara Jati.


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The development of the city

Since old times, the port was an attraction for foreign traders, and Prince Walangsungsang established a new kingdom in Cirebon and made ​​it independent of Galuh. Once it became a sultanate, the city has become one of the most important ports on the north coast of the Island of Java. In the early sixteenth century, the Bantan and the Mataram kingdom had a long struggle to take over the city of Cirebon and Mataram finally managed to capture the city.

In 1677, Mataram ceded the city to the Dutch and in 1705 the town became a Dutch protectorate interestingly governed by three sultans. During the Dutch rule, trade flourished and began to attract Chinese entrepreneurs and now you can see the Chinese imprint on the city. Cirebon suffered in 1844 a period of famine due to drought and the transition from subsistence the agriculture to the indigo and sugar cane cultures.

Traders in Cirebon

Traders in Cirebon ©DMahendra/Flick

The economy of Cirebon

The economy of the city of Cirebon depends heavily on its geographic position and natural resources. The main economic sector is services, characterized by transport and communications, but also trade, hotels and restaurants. After the city passed under Dutch protectorate, it received the status of a transit port of good import -export, and the political control of the Island of Java. The main economic sector in 2001 was the manufacturing industry, followed by trade and transport and then communications.

Boats in Cirebon

Boats in Cirebon ©DMahendra/Flick

Tourist attractions

Tourists in Cirebon can visit several historic buildings, the most important of them being the Sang Cipta Rasa Mosque, but also a lovely park, Gua Sunyaragi. You can go also go to the Tomb of Sunan Gunung Jati, a person who greatly influenced the history of the city. The tomb is located at a few kilometers from the city, in the Gunung Jati district, and captures the two major temples and a cave system built by two Chinese architects around 1880. You can also go to Mount Ceremai, which has the highest peak in West Java, and is at approximately 40 kilometers in the south of Cirebon. The area is heavily populated by tourists who want to escape the hot temperatures of the neighboring cities.

Traditional dancer in Cirebon

Traditional dancer in Cirebon ©Scott (SA-Photo)/Flick


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