The Essential
Looking at the peaceful port today it is hard to believe that Cirebon was once one of the island's most active ports for trade and cultural exchange, where Javanese, Chinese, Islamic and European influences mingled, in a happy reflection of the vivid intertwined patterns of the local batiks. A sultanate in the 16C, the city has three Sultan's palaces (kraton) which testify to past splendours, as well as one of the oldest Chinese temples on the archipelago (17C) and a mosque dating from 1500. The port specialises in shrimp fishing.