In late October 2008, the UN World Heritage Cities Conference and Expo (WHCC), a world-class event, was held at the park. This signaled the inauguration of the revitalized Taman Balekambang, a city park that is being restored to its original beauty in line with its intended purpose – to serve as the lungs of the city of Solo.
Although the planned revitalization and reconstruction is still only 40% complete, Taman Balekambang is starting to display its charms once again, and visitors can enjoy its facilities. Solo is full of attractive places, but when we had the opportunity to visit this park, we fell in love with it at first sight – it's cool and delightful, a very pleasant place to visit.
Taman Balekambang was built by the prince Kangjeng Gusti Adipati Mangkunegoro VII, who then gave it to his two beloved daughters, B.R.A. Partinah and B.R.A. Partini, as the Taman Keputren (princesses' playground) on 26 October 1921.
Taman Balekambang comprises two areas: the first is a garden containing a collection of large, rare trees, known as Partinah Bosch (Partinah Forest), while the other is a lake called Partini Tuin (Partini Pond)
Entering Taman Balekambang, we are enchanted by the many rare trees throughout the park area, which seem to welcome us to come and enjoy their beauty and reduce our stressExploring further into Taman Balekambang, we come to a view of a lake with two pavilions on its shore. The name Balekambang, which comes from the Javanese words bale (hall, structure) and kambang (floating), refers to the presence of the pavilions on this small lake. There are two pavilions on the lake shore: Bale Apung, which was regularly used for gatherings of the Mangkunegaran family, and Bale Tirtayasa, used by the Mangkunegoro king to meditate in isolation while his daughters waded and played in the pond nearby.
Balekambangparkis also oftenusedforyoung peoplegatheringfora solo,but itcan also beused as aplaceas a place totake pictures.Has recentlyalsobeenbuiltarenaoutboundfor childrenso thattheycan see differentthananimals,they can alsoplayoutboundto trainagility.
Before people lost interest in visiting the park, many cultural events used to be held there, such as Javanese comic opera performances called ketoprak. The ketoprak performance hall, with its rather basic facilities, was where people used to go for entertainment, before the days of television. The famous Srimulat Solo ketoprak troupe had their start here, and even now the members of Srimulat live near Taman Balekambang.
The new performance hall at Taman Balekambang recently featured a performance of Ketoprak Gagak Solo, presented by Mamiek Srimulat, Pong Hardjatmo and other ketoprak artists as an effort to revive this traditional performing art for the public of Solo.
Since 2007, the Surakarta city government has been working to revitalize Taman Balekambang and restore it to its original state, after many years in disgraceful condition. This revitalization is part of the city government's plan to restore public open spaces and provide water absorption areas.
Taman Balekambang will be a major park with a cultural atmosphere and many cultural performances – music, ketoprak, wayang kulit and so on – will be held here.
Arswendo Atmowiloto, in his book Kitab Solo (The Book of Solo), describes Taman Balekambang as both a memory and a revival – a fine portrayal of the changes and development that is currently under way. Now Balekambang is truly a beautiful park, a comfortable place for family recreation, open to the public every day (7.00-12.00) free of charge. You no longer need to be worried and fearful about going the