Istana Siak Sri Indrapura was built by a German architect in 1889 during the reign of Sultan Syarif Hasyim. Istana Siak is located in Siak regency, about a 3-4 hours’ drive from Pekanbaru.
There are numerous other artifacts and historic items from the kingdom, making it a fascinating source of knowledge.
One such collection of Istana Siak Sri Indrapura features a musical instrument known as “Komet” and made by a German acoustics expert.
Komet has a steel plate and an exquisite sound and is one of only two examples of the instrument left in the world today. The instrument was played for the Sultan during meal times and when entertaining guests. It doesn’t use electricity, but harnesses the kinetic energy produced by the rotating disc, and has to be first cranked by hand.
The holed steel plate acts as a record, storing the song to be played. The instrument itself sounds a bit like a piano. In order to preserve it, the instrument is only brought out and played on rare occasions.
Visitors are allowed to take any photos they wish inside the palace.
Aside from the splendid Siak Palace and the historic museum in the city center, there is a network of sprawling parks and green spaces in the heart of Siak Sri Indrapura.
One park has been designed especially to help children understand traffic signs, while another is designed for rollerblading youngsters. There are no palm trees within the city; instead, there are gazebos to hide from the scorching-hot sun and schools with yards so extensive and spacious that they double as camping grounds. Its parks and green areas are a little haven of quiet and give the city a magical calmness.