Salatiga (1100.27′.56,81″ – 1100.32′.4,64″ BT; 0070.17′. – 0070.17′.23″ LS) is a small town in Central Java province, approximately 50 kms southeast of Semarang city and northwest of Solo city. Surrounded by Merbabu, Telomoyo, and Gajah Mungkur Mountain, the city is situated 450-825 meters above sea level, making its temperature to be relatively cool around the year, with 220 rainy days per year (2008 data).
The Plumpungan epigraph recorded that the town was granted a status of a free-tax area by King Bhanu on 24 July 750 M, and the date was decided to be the date when the town was founded. The ancient area of Salatiga was wider than the current town, comprising areas that are now under the city of Salatiga, Semarang, Ambarawa, and Boyolali. Under the Dutch occupation, Salatiga was granted a status of city (Stood Gemente Salatiga) on 1 July 1917 based on Staatblad 1917 No. 266, comprising an area of 1 sub-district and 8 villages. The current areas of Salatiga consist of 4 sub-districts (Sidorejo, Tingkir, Argomulyo, and Sidomukti) and 22 villages; and it is the home of 177.088 occupants (January 2011 data). The population of Salatiga is heterogeneous in terms of ethnic and religious groups, due to the existence of three universities (Satya Wacana Christian University, State Islamic University of Salatiga, AMA Economics Institute) and Mountain View Christian International School.
The city motto is “Hatti Beriman” that stands from seHAT (healthy), terTIb (in order), BERsih (clean), INdah (beautiful) and aMAN (safe). These are the qualities of life that Salatiga aims to achieve. The city prides itself to be a comfortable place to study with relatively quiet environment, affordable housing accommodation, and variety of food. It is also connected to bigger cities of Jogjakarta, Semarang, and Solo by land transportation, where most students spend their weekend to enjoy entertainments, classical courts, shopping malls, and the hustle bustle of big cities. It is also conveniently connected by air and train transportation through the international airports and the train stations in Jogjakarta, Semarang, and Solo.
Some popular destinations from Salatiga include Semarang/Solo (75 minutes drive), Jogjakarta and Prambanan Temple (3 hours drive), Borobudur Temple (2 hours), Ambarawa – the railway museum (3o minutes), Bandungan – Gedong Songo Temples (45 minutes), Kopeng – the starting point for climbing Merbabu Mountain (30 minutes), Ketep Pass between Merbabu and Merapi Mountain (50 minutes), Selo – the starting point for climbing Merapi Mountain (one hour), Jepara – beaches (2.5 hours), Dieng Plateau (4 hours), Sarangan – Lawu Mountain (2.5 hours).
(The information is compiled from the official website of Salatiga city government: http://www.pemkot-salatiga.go.id/)