Narrow alleys are a visible part of the ulema’s old residential area. The Islamic architecture of the old buildings is influenced by the Middle East. The colors of the walls have faded away with time.
Boy T Harjanto
Kauman during the Mataram kingdom was a place for nine headmen tasked by the kingdom with managing religious affairs. For hundreds of years, this residential area has had a huge role in the Islamic movement
During the independence fight, in this kampong was established Muhammadiyah – now the second-largest Muslim organization in Indonesia. At that time, Ahmad Dahlan, a Muslim scholar, became the founder of the movement and he was concerned with the fact that many people believed in mystical things.
Ahmad Dahlan also set the qibla to the northwest, or heading toward Al Haram Mosque in Mecca, and got rid of people’s habit of having rituals to remember the deceased.
Kauman is entirely pedestrianized. There is a no-vehicle sign in front of the gate and the roads are designed to make it difficult for cars to enter. The policy is to keep the neighborhood quiet because there are lots of Islamic students studying the religion, as well as being a symbol of leaving behind one's social status by walking. [yan]