Istana Besar, Johor Bahru
If there's one thing we really appreciate in Johor is this museum, which houses a good collection of royal heirloom, impressive rare artefacts and a good record of the history of the States's Royal Family.
The Istana Besar is the Grand Palace of the Johor Sultanate... The Istana was built in 1866 by the late Sultan Abu Bakar... Its most distinctive feature is its Anglo-Malay architecture, characterised by its dome of Malay design contrasted with its blue roof of Anglo influence... There is also a Japanese garden and a teahouse in its compound... The istana garden is large and is open to the public from 7.00am to 7.00pm daily...
Within the Istana is The Royal Abu Bakar Museum... It is a living museum which houses a good collection of royal heirloom, impressive rare artefacts and a good record of the history of the States's Royal Family...
The Istana is now only used for investiture, state banquets and royal functions...
The beautiful Istana Besar palace was commissioned by Sultan Abu Bakar who laid the foundation stone back in 1864.
Istana Besar is one of the oldest buildings in Johor and it is an interesting combination of English and Moorish architecture.
The palace is now used as a museum displaying a collection of treasures from the royal family. Much of the original furniture came from England.
It is a beautiful and well maintained park for joggers, locals and tourists. This park is also popular for wedding photographs.
It can get a bit too hot during mid-day. The best time to visit is in the morning or evening.
"The beautiful palace was commissioned by Sultan Abu Bakar, who laid the foundation stone in 1864. One of the oldest buildings in Johor, it has a cosmopolitan architecture with clear Anglo-Malay influence. Today the palace assumes an additional role as the Royal Abu Bakar Museum, displaying treasures of the royal collection.
It is in the Renaissance style and was built by local workmen under the supervision of an European architect. Much of the original furniture was ordered in England by His Majesty Sultan Abu Bakar in 1866 and he personally directed the laying out of the Palace gardens.
The building has been enlarged and renovated several times. In 1912 the east wing was pulled down and the present Banquet Hall was erected in its place. Today the Palace is mainly used for State ceremonies and official functions, although since 23 February 1982, it has filled an additional role as the Royal Abu Bakar Museum, displaying the art treasures of the Royal collection and historical relics of the Sultanate of Johor."
The royal palace of the Sultan of Johor is still used for ceremonial occasions. The rest of the time, it's a museum open to the public. It is JB's single best tourist attraction.