The Astana
Front view of the building from Kuching Waterfront
General information
StatusComplete
TypeOfficial residence
LocationKuching, Sarawak
Country Malaysia
Coordinates1°33′49″N 110°20′44″E / 1.56361°N 110.34556°E / 1.56361; 110.34556Coordinates: 1°33′49″N 110°20′44″E / 1.56361°N 110.34556°E / 1.56361; 110.34556
Construction started1870; 151 years ago (1870)
Completed1888; 133 years ago (1888)
Technical details
Floor count1
Lifts/elevatorsNone

The Astana (Malay: Astana Negeri Sarawak) is a palace in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, on the north bank of the Sarawak River, opposite the Kuching Waterfront. It is the official residence of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak, the Governor of Sarawak. The name is a variation of 'istana', meaning 'palace'.[1] It was built in 1870 by the second White Rajah, Charles Brooke, as a wedding gift to his wife, Margaret Alice Lili de Windt.[2][3] The palace is not normally open to the public, although the landscaped gardens are, which can be reach by a boat ride across the Sarawak River. It is part of the Kuching Heritage Trail.[4]

History

The Astana, then called Government House, was built in 1870 by the second White Rajah, Charles Brooke, as a wedding gift to his wife, Margaret Alice Lili de Windt.[1][2][4] The couple married at Highworth, Wiltshire on 28 October 1869 and she was raised to the title of Ranee of Sarawak with the style of Her Highness upon their marriage. Ranee Margaret arrived in Sarawak in 1870, and the royal couple then occupied The Astana as their main home. She later reminisced about life in The Astana and colonial Borneo in her memoir My Life in Sarawak, which was published in 1913.[5] Brooke is said to have cultivated betel nut in a small plantation behind the Astana, so that he could offer fresh betel nut to visiting Dayak chiefs.[6]

Architecture

The residence was originally three separate buildings, with each connected to the other by short and narrow passageways. The Astana has since undergone major renovations and alterations befitting it as the official residence of the Governor of Sarawak.[2][3]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Tamara Thiessen (2008). Bradt Travel Guide - Borneo. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 242–. ISBN 978-1-84162-252-1.
  2. ^ a b c Graham Land (2018). "Kuching's colonial heritage". Asian Correspondent. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b Sam Bedford (29 May 2018). "The Astana: Kuching's Palace of the White Rajahs". Culture Trip. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Old Kuching Heritage Trail". Sarawak Tourism. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  5. ^ Margaret Brooke (Ranee of Sarawak.) (1913). My Life in Sarawak. Methuen.
  6. ^ Alan Teh Leam Seng (8 October 2017). "Home of the White Rajahs". New Straits Times. Retrieved 26 February 2019.

Media related to The Astana, Sarawak at Wikimedia Commons