As a huge archipelago country that lies on the Ring of Fire, Indonesia has approximately 130 active volcanoes. The volcanoes stretch along the south and west from Sumatra, Java, Bali, Flores, and Timor. Thousands of people live close to the active volcanoes due to the fertile soil that provided on the slopes.
One of the most active volcanoes in Indonesia is Mount Merapi, or locally known as Gunung Merapi. The name itself has reflected how active the volcano is as it’s literally translated as Fire Mountain. As an active volcano, Mount Merapi has erupted for 68 times and the latest ones so far was on March 3rd and 27th, 2020. It’s one of the mountains in Central Java that’s located in Yogyakarta.
At the slope of the mountain, you’ll not find an ordinary sight of villagers residents with beautiful scenery that stretches as far as the eyes could see. More than that, Mount Merapi is equipped with many things that provide you with selections of things to do in Mount Merapi, Yogyakarta.
One of the most interesting attraction that you can find at the slope of Mount Merapi is Museum Gunung Merapi.
About Museum Gunung Merapi
Standing firmly on the slope of Mount Merapi, Museum Gunung Merapi preserves everything related to the mountain itself. With the magnificent Mount Merapi as the background, this museum views the mountain as a valuable source of learning.
This museum was inaugurated in 2010 and is situated in Sleman Regency, Yogyakarta. Pictures of the appearance of Mount Merapi from time to time will soon welcome you as you enter the museum. You can see how big the eruptions were from time to time that they could change the physical appearance of this magnificent mountain.
The museum is also well-managed with sophisticated multimedia that would keep you entertained while learning and going around it. It’s one of the reasons why everyone should visit Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
The history of Museum Gunung Merapi
Considering the fact that Mount Merapi has erupted for 68 times since 1548 and the big cities and populations that live at the slope, the government realized that there must be something that could educate people about the mountain. Therefore, the local government took the initiative to establish Museum Gunung Merapi that could provide people with the information needed in order to deal with disaster.
First built in 2005, the museum was then inaugurated 5 years later with the help from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. The main aim of the museum is to give recreational-education, including all information about Mount Merapi as well as other active volcanoes and geological disasters that can be caused by the eruptions.
Through this museum, it’s expected that there will be a raise of public awareness as well as alertness about the benefits and threats of volcanic eruptions and other geological disasters.
This is especially important as the local people don’t only see the mountain as a mere mountain. It’s the place where they born, live, develop, and learn many things. Therefore, understanding their home better will be very beneficial.
So, what’s on in Museum Gunung Merapi?
1. Modern-Philosophical Architecture
As soon as you arrive at the site, you’ll notice the artistic architecture of the museum. It’s 2-storey museum in the form of a trapezoid and one of the crests forming a triangle.
It somehow resembles the shape of Mount Merapi on the background. When it’s sunny, Mount Merapi can be clearly seen as the background of the museum, making it looks so firm, strong, and magnificent.
When you go deeper into the courtyard, you’ll find a building that looks very unique. It’s in conical shape. This building takes after Hindu philosophy where the cone symbolizes the mountain.
In Hindu, mountain is seen as a source of life for the surrounding community. Balinese Hindus even pray facing Mount Agung, the highest mountain in Bali.
2. Replica of Explosions
A replica of the distribution of hot clouds from three eruptions of Mount Merapi in 1969, 1994, and 2006 will welcome you as soon as you enter the museum. This is the tool that produces the rumble sound, simulating the condition when the eruptions happened.
By clicking one button only, the replica will simulate the distribution of the hot clouds and incandescent lava flow back in the eruptions. Just by looking at the replica, you could have clear picture of how terrifying eruptions can be.
Hundreds of houses were buried, thousands of livestocks died, and residents had to be evacuated. This will build your awareness of how important it is to have good education about how to deal with disaster.
3. Displays of the Remainings
In other museums, you’ll find displays of volcanic eruption types along with rocks from Mount Merapi since 1930. There are also collections of the remainings from the 2006 eruption and photographs of Mount Merapi from time to time.
This will help you to observe the changes of the mountain. There are also illustrative panels with cartoon that are super friendly for children. They’ll surely enjoy their time learning in the museum.
4. The Products of the Eruptions
You know that when explodes, volcano vomits thousands of particle and materials. Here in the museum, you can see the products of the explosions. One that highlights the collection is the rock bomb which is also known as volcanic bomb.
At glance, it may just look like an ordinary stone with an irregular shape. But, it’s actually the form of incandescent lava that had 700-1,200 degree Celcius temperature which was thrown into the air and went a rapid cooling process before reached the Earth’s surface.
5. Disasters Simulation Displays
On the second floor, there are nine types of collections and teaching aids that are being displayed. Display of Merapi eruptions, LCD simulator display aisles, tsunami simulation displays, and earthquake simulation displays, all are there to show you how the disasters happen and feel like.
These displays always succeed in attracting visitors’ attention. The teaching aids are also well-functioned, creating a wholesome arena where people can both learn and entertained at the same time. You can experience a terrible yet harmless mini tsunami, eartquake, to eruption at once in just one room.
6. Mini Theater
To top your wonderful exploration in the museum, you can choose to enter the mini theater. Resting comfortably, you will be treated with a short 24-minute documentary film called Mahaguru Merapi that shows different side of the mountain.
Mount Merapi is highly viewed as the source of life to every creature around it. But at times, it can also destroys everything without nothing left.
This film will further wakes up the consciousness, awareness, and alertness in yourself. You’ll further notice that natural disaster is something that human can’t prevent. But, human can always learn from the past so that we can prepare better when other natural disaster occurs.
Ticket Fee and Opening Schedule
The ticket fee to enter this wonderful museum is only IDR5,000. A super affordable price for a wholesome exploration! To watch the documentary film, you’ll be charged IDR5,000 only! It’s such a small price compared to what you can get from the museum and the film.
The museum opens everyday.
Saturday – Thursday: 8AM – 3.30PM
Friday: 8AM – 2.30PM
Visiting this museum will be an extraordinary experience where you can learn further about geology as well as Indonesia. When you’re around, don’t forget to explore Mount Merapi disaster tourism more by doing many other interesting things.
The site is also known as a great place to enjoy sunrise through Merapi sunrise trekking. So, if you also like adventuring, you can try hike the mountain and spend a night there to enjoy the beauty of the Fire Mountain.