- 1 History
- 2 Modern Indonesian period
- 3 Transportation
- 4 Tourism
- 5 Gallery of Dutch Colonial's Poerworedjo
- 6 Gallery of today's Purworejo
- 7 Notable people from Purworejo
- 8 References
Ancient Mataram Hindu Period (8th-9th AD)
The history of Purworejo is first recorded on Kayu Ara Hiwang inscription in 5 October 901, which is being found in Boro Wetan Village. The area was originally known by the name 'Bagelen' (read /ba·gə·lɛn/) and it is now become a smaller part of the whole Purworejo regency. In the 9th centuries, Bagelen is part of the history of the ancient Mataram Hindu civilization (See: Medang Kingdom) which was flourished on Kedu Plain. It is estimated that within the period of Rakai Watukara Dyah Balitung, Bagelen had become the capital of the Mataram Hindu Kingdom or that it is the origin of the king as Watukara is a river name in Bagelen. The ancient artifact being found in Bagelen is Kayu Ara Hiwang inscription which explain Shima ceremony. At that period, when a new land is being opened for economic or religious use, there will be a ceremony being held by the authorities, namely Shima ceremony. The authorities mentioned in the inscription are: Sang Ratu Bajra, who is allegedly as Rakryan Mahamantri/Mapatih Hino Sri Daksottama Bahubajrapratipaksaya, who is also the brother-in-law of Rakai Watukura Dyah Balitung and who is also later became Balitung's successor. The ceremony mentions that the land is being freed from any tax duty, but it has the obligation to maintain the holiness of a scared place called "parahiyangan" (which means the place of Gods). The ceremony also purified the area of Kayu Ara Hiwang of any evil's influence. Kayu Ara Hiwang area itself consists of rice fields, savanna, caves and arable land. The cave mentioned in the inscription is identified as Seplawan Cave, where a shiva gold statue is being found and therefore the second artifact within Bagelen area. Within this period, Bagelen has became a religious center where some Buddhist monks (and often skilled with martial arts) were probably lived along the Bogowonto river banks.
Mataram Sultanate (Moslem) Period (15th-16th AD)
During this period, the people of Bagelen is famous for becoming the special arms force for Sutawijaya, hence the beginning of its militaristic character which also said as inheritance of the martial art skills being instilled by the previous Buddhist monks from the ancient Mataram period.
Dutch Colonial Period (16th-19th AD)
During this period, Bagelen area was notorious of its powerful insurgent which support Prince Diponegoro throughout Java War. Upon the defeat of Diponegoro, Bagelen was being asked from Mataram Sultanate in order to undermine the power of Bagelen's insurgent and was being integrated into Kedu Residency by the Dutch Colonial ruler. The new town, called Poerworedjo (new spelling: Purworejo) is being designed by a Dutch architect by adopting traditional Javanese architecture and tradition. The Dutch implemented indirect rule, which is reflected in its town architecture, where the regent is from the local leader (Raden Adipati Cokronegoro Pertama) and the co-ruler (the regent assistant) is always a Dutch. This new town was also served as Dutch military base camp which housed the Dutch Black Colonial Armed Forces from West Africa. Some Dutch residents were born, lived and died in Purworejo, the records can be found in The Civil Registry of the Dutch East-Indies. Some Dutch colonial buildings are still in a good shape until now as of Regency Official House (1840), a church which still become GPIB Church (1879), Kweekschool (1915), Train Station, Bank, Hospital. During this period, there were 2 main religious figures: a Moslem preacher (mubaligh) kyai Imam Pura and a Javanese Christian Evangelist, Kyai Sadrach. This is the evidence that in Purworejo, Moslem and Christians are being accepted harmoniously by its people.
Modern Indonesian period
In the modern day Indonesia, Purworejo produce skilled work force in the area of government, education and military. The prominent general from Purworejo is Sarwo Edhie Wibowo who is also the father-in-law of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. There are also several other notable general arms forces, government officials, ministers and lecturers as being listed in the notables from Purworejo. Purworejo is recently more well known as the town of retirement. As the economic and government activities of modern Indonesia is centered in Jakarta, Purworejo citizen are majority urged to work in Jakarta or in other parts of Indonesia or even worldwide. However, there is also an urge for Purworejo citizen to repatriate and to build retirement residences in Purworejo. Because of its reputation as retirement town in the modern day, its inheritance as a Dutch town and its ancient inheritance of Buddhist religious center, Purworejo is relatively a peaceful town with vast main roads, big old trees on both sides, regular squares of town blocks and its preserved Dutch buildings. The wider area of Purworejo mainly has agriculture and livestock activities while some medium-sized, export oriented industrial activities (traditional furniture, textile and sports equipment) is being established in the southern part of the region.
The main transportation to reach this area is through a railway and roadway, both are part of the larger southern java transportation system. The railway station is Kutoarjo Station. There are several southern Java rail routes that go through this town:
- Prambanan Express (commuter train) route: Solo, Yogyakarta, Kutoarjo
- Bogowonto (economy AC class), route: Yogyakarta - Kutoarjo - Jakarta
- Taksaka (executive class), route: Yogyakarta - Kutoarjo - Jakarta
- Sawunggalih (executive and business class), route: Yogyakarta - Kutoarjo - Jakarta
- Kutojaya Utara (economy class) route: Kutoarjo - Jakarta
- Lodaya route (executive and business class): Solo - Kutoarjo - Bandung
- Kutojaya Selatan (economy class) route: Kutoarjo - Bandung
The airport closest to the town is Adisucipto International Airport which is approximately within 1.5 hours driving distance.
Purworejo has not fully marketed as a tourism area although it has nature attractions including its south-western range of Menoreh hills with its caves (Seplawan cave), its southern beaches (Ketawang, Congot, Jatimalang) and its northern picturesque scenery of two active volcanoes Sumbing and Sundoro and its mountainous range with its waterfalls to the northern-east (Bruno).
Gallery of Dutch Colonial's Poerworedjo
Gallery of today's Purworejo
Notable people from Purworejo
- Jan Toorop, Dutch painter
- Alex Veenstra, Dutch Water Polo Athlete
- Karel Heijting, Dutch Football Player
- Johan Hendrik Caspar Kern, linguist and orientalist
- André Joseph Guillaume Henri Kostermans, Dutch & Indonesian Botanist
- Syekh Imam Puro, a Moslem Cleric
- Kyai Sadrach, a Javanese Evangelist
- Wage Rudolf Soepratman, the writer of Indonesian National anthem "Indonesia Raya"
- Oerip Soemohardjo, Founder of Indonesian National Army
- Kasman Singodimedjo, member of Indonesian National Movement 1945.
- Ahmad Yani, Commander of Indonesian Army, also one of Heroes of Revolution 1965
- Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, Commander of RPKAD or kopassus, also the Father in-law of today's Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
- Bustanul Arifin, Head of Indonesian Bureau of Logistic
- Danurwindo, ex Indonesian football player and national team coach
- Erman Suparno, Minister of Labor
- Slamet Kirbiantoro, Commander-in-Chief Kodam Jaya (Pangdam Jaya)
- Endriartono Sutarto, Commander-in-Chief ABRI (Indonesian National Armed Forces) 2006