Taman Sari is located to the northwest of the Kraton and within the palace walls. Taman Sari was built in 1758 by Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I to serve as both a recreation facility and a fortress. It was built on the site of the Pacethokan baths, whose water comes from a natural spring. It was only used until the end of the reign of Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono II in 1812.
As a place of recreation, Taman Sari is also called the "water castle," since it is basically a model palace in the water, with an artificial sea called the Segaran and an artificial island called Kenanga. On the island is a two-story building called Majethi, or sometimes Cemethi; Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono I used to retreat to this building to meditate. From the top of the building, you can clearly see half the city spread out below.
Another structure within the Taman Sari complex is a set of swimming pools: Umbul Sari on the south, exclusively for the Sultan and his consort; Umbul Binangun in the middle, for the Sultan's wives and concubines; and Umbul Muncar on the north, for the Sultan's children and other relatives.
Taman Sari's architecture reflects many cultural influences: native Javanese, Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, European, and Chinese. All this can be seen in the simple building techniques. Obviously, they were not using steel-reinforced cement in those days; the entire complex is made from bricks and cement, and researchers believe the cement mixture included coconut liquid and egg whites.