The first capital of the Islamic Mataram kingdom that throughout the 17th century governed most of Central and Eastern Java. The remains of the royal palace, built at the end of the 16th century, can be visited.
Though not all buildings have been preserved, Kota Gede remains a chief example of ancient Javanese architecture and city structure.
In the mid-20th Century, the neighbourhood was the central economic district of Yogyakarta. Today, it is famous for its silver filigree works. There are plenty of shops selling silver jewellery, with their workshops often attached and open for visitors.