As a native of Solo (Surakarta) city, I have visited many popular attractions here. However, I’m still craving for knowing more interesting places that I haven’t seen before. Thus, I’m so excited to find this place during walking on the super hot weather in the center of the city, in the area of Sriwedari in Slamet Riyadi street.
It’s already 12:00 pm so as a moslem I need to do “Solat Dzuhur” an afternoon compulsary prayer. Therefore, I need to find a nearest mosque from where my position is. Luckily, I see a mosque which is near to me inside the school complex of MAN 2 Surakarta or popularly known in another name of Mambaul Ulum, a high islamic school owned by government. Entering the area, I get surprised by the architecture of the buildings, both for its main school’ building and its mosque. I feel them are so classical and grandeur.
Okay, I need to pray first then I’m gonna explore and asking information about this place. Soon after I finish praying, I begin to walk around. In the wall of the mosque, I see an incription showing that the building has been declared as a heritage site since 1997 so it is on priority list to preserve.
In fact this 4,000 square meters area was used to be owned by rich merchant from Banjarmasin of South Kalimantan with Nongtjik as the name of the building. The area was finally bought by Indonesian Ministry of Religion. It was functioned differently through the years. In 1950, it started to function as Islamic court. Morever, 1973 it changed its function as school since the court was moved to Semarang.
There are many notable national figures who are the alumni of the school. One of them is Kiai Haji Imam Zarkasi, the founder of well-known international Islamic school of Gontor (Pondok Pesantren Gontor) in East Java. There is a banner in front of school showing his quote which is interesting for me. “Don’t be discouraged to face life, to meet people, but take care of yourself to build your dignity”.