Let’s dive into the uniqueness of the ‘Istana Kenangan: Between taps, pegs and mortise’ exhibition

By: Aida Aziz

KUALA KANGSAR: Known as the Royal Town of Kuala Kangsar, no visit here would be complete without a brief stop at the Palace of Memories, also known as Istana Tepas or Bukit Chandan.

Approaching its centenary in three years, this unique palace presents an exhibition entitled ‘Palace of Memories: Between pillars, pegs, and mortise’ for public viewing.

After being closed for repairs and restoration works, the Palace of Memories has now reopened to the public, offering various intriguing insights into the architectural wonders of the palace.

The exhibition is organized by the Perak State Museum Board and the Royal Museum of Kuala Kangsar.

According to Nor Hisham Zulkiflee, the Secretary of the Perak Heritage Association, the refurbishment efforts undertaken by the Museum Board to highlight the uniqueness and architectural heritage of the building, deserves praise.

This is because not many are aware of the aesthetic value and symbolism behind its construction.

“While last year they showcased the genealogy of the Sultan, this time the focus is on the heritage building itself.

“It explains the functions of the palace, its construction history, and information about the building’s preservation. The palace was built in 1926, and in three years, it will be 100 years old.

“This matter needs to be highlighted, and the Museum Board must make greater efforts to preserve this iconic palace, which represents Kuala Kangsar and Perak as a whole,” he said.

Nor Hisham further expressed his hope that in the coming years, bilingual information in Malay and English would be provided to facilitate international tourists in understanding the essence of the exhibition.

A little information about the Palace of Memories: it was built by the order of the late Sultan Iskandar Shah, the 30th Sultan of Perak, as a temporary resting place while waiting for the completion of Istana Iskandariah.

The construction of the building was carried out by a carpenter from Seberang Perai, Haji Suffian, assisted by his two sons, Zainal Abidin and Ismail.

Additionally, the displayed information explains that the aesthetic value of the Palace of Memories reflects the traditional Malay architecture of Perak, which is truly captivating.

It is said that the building was constructed using carefully selected hardwood with woven bamboo walls and a ‘belian wood’ roof.

What’s even more impressive is that iron nails were not used in their construction but instead replaced with the technique of mortise and pegs.

For those who wish to witness the beauty, uniqueness, and history of this palace, you can visit the exhibition, which promises a wealth of useful information for everyone to appreciate.

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