Museum Negeri Propinsi Bali
This museum : is the main attraction of; Denpasar, and it's a good one. It gained prominence in 1932 when German artist Walter Spies and some Dutch officials revived the jdea of collecting and preserving Balinese antiquities and cultural objects, and creating an ethnographic museum. Now it's quite well set up, and most displays are labelled in English. You can climb one of the towers inside the grounds for a better view of the whole complex.
The main building (Gedung Timur) has a collection, of prehistoric pieces downstairs, including stone sarcophagi, and stone and bronze implements. Upstairs are examples of traditional tools and artefacts, including types still in everyday use.
The northern pavilion (Gedung Tabanan) houses shadow puppets, dance costumes and masks, including a sinister rangda (witch), a healthy-looking Barong and a toweringbarong landing ( giant puppet dace)figure, The central pavillion (Gedung Buleleng) has a varied collection t textiles, including endek (Balinese traditional sarong), double ikat (cloth in which the p tern is produced by dyeing individual thread' before weaving), songket (silver- and gold- threaded cloth, hand-woven using a float' weft technique) andprada (the application'"! gold leaf or gold or silver thread in traditional Balinese clothes).
Museum staff often play music on a bamboo gamelan to magical effect.
Next to the museum, the stately Jagatnatha Temple was built in 1953, and is dedicated to the supreme god, Sanghyang Widi. Part of its significance is its statement of monotheism. The padmasana (shrine) is made of white coral, and consists of an empty throne (symbolic of heaven) on top of the cosmic turtle and two naga (mythological serpents) that symbolise the foundation of the world. The walls are decorated with carvings of scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Pura Jagatnatha is more frequently used than many Balinese temples, with local people coming every afternoon to pray and make offerings, so it can often be closed to tourists.
Bajra Sandhi Monument
Otherwise known as the Monument to the Struggle of the People of Bali, this huge monument is as big as its name and domi-nates what's already a big park in Renon. Inside this vaguely Borobodur-like structure are lurid dioramas tracing Bali's history
Taman Wedhi Budaya
This arts centre : is a sprawling complex in the eastern part of Denpasar. From mid-June to mid-July the normally sleepy centre comes alive for the Bali Arts Festival (see below), with dances, music and craft displays from all over Bali.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
The annual Bali Arts Festival (www.baliartsfestW1 .com) is based at the Taman Wedhi Buday" arts centre (above) in Denpasar, and lasts for about one month from mid-June to mid-July. It’s a great time to be visiting Bali, and the festival is an easy way to see an enormous variety of traditional dance, music and crafts from all over the island. Tickets are usually available right before performances and schedules are widely available.
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