Address : Jalan Boyong, Dusun Banteng, Desa Hargobinangun, Kecamatan Pakem, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Indonesia lies on the junction of the earth plate. Consequently, Indonesia becomes a seismic zone. Moreover, Indonesia is included in the ring of fire of 500 volcanoes among which 129 are active. The number covers 13 percent of total active volcanoes in the world. It reaffirms that Indonesia is located in a disaster-potential area. Therefore, there must be some mitigation effort to press the number of victims when disaster occurs.
Merapi Volcano Museum is a new tourist site at the southern slope of Merapi built to give solution to the above problem. This tourist object was designed as an ongoing conservation and education site as well as developing knowledge on volcanic disaster, earthquake, and other disasters. It was inaugurated on October 1, 2009 by the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Purnomo Yusgiantoro.
The slogan of the museum is “Merapi Jendela Bumi” (Merapi the Window of the World). It is 4.470 square meters and occupies as wide as 3,4 acres of land and it is a two-story building. The first floor contains museum collections which are divided into several rooms with different themes. There are the Volcano World, On The Merapi Volcano Trail, Manusia dan Gunung Api (mankind and volcano), Bencana Gempa Bumi dan Tsunami (earthquake and tsunami), Bencana Gerakan Tanah (landslide), Diorama, Peralatan Survey (survey equipment), Extra-terestrial Volcano, and other supporting facilities. The second floor functions as a theater showing movies about volcano. Currently it is still under construction.
Cool – rather cold – temperature welcomes you when you move from the parking area to the museum yard. If the weather is nice, you can see the elegant peak of Merapi and shady trees scenery behind the museum. Stepping on each stair-case of the museum yard will remind you of the main gate of Ratu Boko Temple complex. It is no exaggeration to say since the building concept of Merapi Volcano Museum is closely related to Javanese phylosophical values. The architecture of the museum itself represents the shapes of temple (main gate and yard), Tugu Jogja (Jogja Monument—at the top of the building) and Mount Merapi (the entire building), and the concept of keraton (palace) as the world image (centripetal building plan).
A big size mockup of Mount Merapi which continually emits smoke and magma will welcome as you enter the main entrance. Additionally, there is the thundering sound coming out of it. If you want to learn about the chronology of Merapi eruption, just press the narration button near the mockup. Soon, you can hear the narrator voice accompanied by Javanese backsound telling the story of Merapi eruption. There are also three buttons each dated 1969, 1994 and 2006. Pressing one of the buttons causes the magma flow spread to change according to the occurence of each year.
Moving on, you will enter volcano world zone. In this zone, there are documentation photos and visual aids about volcano phenomenon across the globe. The photos and visual aids are completely displayed with bilingual explanation: Bahasa Indonesia and English. So, if you come alone without a tour guide, it is guaranteed that you can fully understand the pictures.
After enjoying volcano world zone, move forward to Mount Merapi zone. All information about Mount Merapi is available in this room. From the phenomenon of Merapi dome development, Merapi myth, Merapi view post from the Dutch era to modern era, and many more. Everything is presented in interesting images and photos. Moreover, this zone provides self-rescue technique from volcano eruption. Thus, it is no exaggeration to acknowledge Merapi Vocano Museum as a mitigation education site toreduce the number of the victims.
In one of the rooms in Merapi Volcano Museum there is a collection of tools used for volcano activities monitoring process. In addition, there are various types of rocks carried away by Merapi eruption. An example of them is Merapi vulcanic bomb in form of glowing rock of more that 65 mm diameters. The other collections are local people’s cooking utensils damaged by the eruption and motor fracture of a citizen killed at Kaliadem bunker on June 14, 2006.
Merapi volcano museum is designed to be the center of information, research, education and tourism on volcanoes all over the world in general and Mount Merapi in particular. It is a worth-visiting site. Students from different level of education are suggested to visit this museum because there are many information presented complete with the visualization. Thus, the learning process about volcano will become more interesting and not boring.
Merapi volcano museum is located at the southern slope of Mount Merapi, precisely at Boyong Street, Dusun Banteng, Desa Hargobinangun, Kecamatan Pakem, Kabupaten Sleman, Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
The access to Merapi Volcano Museum is pretty easy since its location is on the same lane with Kaliurang tourism site. From Yogyakarta, you can follow Kaliurang Street. After approximately 20 km trip, turn left and follow the road to Kaliurang tourism site from the west entrance (Boyong Street). Soon, you will meet the entrance gate to Kaliurang. Turn right, Merapi Volcano Museum is right at the end of the road.
Tourists who want to visit Merapi Volcano Museum is advised to take personal vehicle such as car or motorcycle. This is due to the absence of public transportation passing the museum, thus, you must walk for about 2 km from Kaliurang Street. However, if you insist on taking a public transportation, you can take Jogja-Kaliurang mikromini (minibus). Arriving in front of Oasis Crisis Center, get off and continue walking along Boyong Street.
The entrance ticket to Merapi Volcano Museum is Rp 3.000. In addition, the parking charges is Rp 1.500 for motorcycle, Rp 2.000 for car and Rp 10.000 for bus (January 2010). The museum opens from Tuesday to Saturday from 9 am to 3.30 pm. It closes on Mondays.
F. Accommodations and Facilities
As a new tourist site at Kabupaten Sleman, Merapi Volcano Museum has incomplete yet adequate facilities for tourists. There are the rest room, parking area, and spacious yard. Currently, the management of Merapi Volcano Museum is adding several other facilities for visitors, such as gazebo, cafetaria, and theater building. The area is also under construction toward an alternative integrated tourism site.
The absence of a cafetaria should not make you worry. There are food court run by local people approximately 100 meters from the museum. Do not forget to buy jadah tempe as a special gift from Kaliurang. Tourists who want to enjoy the night freeze at Merapi slope can stay in a hotel or an inn. If you have more time, continue your trip to Kaliurang, Ullen Sentalu Museum, Tlaga Putri, Lava Tour Kaliadem or the agro-tourism around Turi and Pakem.
Text: Elisabeth Murni
Photo(s): Collection of Jogjatrip.com
Translated: Apri Widiastuti
(Primary data and various sources)