The history evidences showed that Surabaya has already existed before the colonialisms periods, as mentioned in Trowulan I epigraphy , it was 1358 M. in that epigraphy has revealed that Surabaya ( Churabhaya) was a village in border of Brantas river as one of important crossing place along Brantas river.

Surabaya ( Churabhaya) was also mentioned in Negara Kertagama Pujasastra written by Prapanca which told about the big journey of Baginda Hayam Wuruk in 1365 , in Pupuh XVII (couplet-5, last line).

Although the ancient written evidences mentioned that Surabaya's name numbered 1358 M (Trowulan epigraphy) & 1365 M (Negara Kertagama), experts suggested that Surabaya has already existed before that years.

Based on Von Faber's Hypothesis, Surabaya has been established in 1275 M by Kertanegara king to be a new staying place for his soldiers which successful in fighting the Kemuruhan rebellion in 1270 M. Other hypothesis said that Surabaya's name was Ujung Galuh.

Another version of that hypothesis said that the name of Surabaya came from a story about the life and death struggling of Adipati Jayengrono and Sawunggaling. However, after beaten Tartar army, Raden Wijaya built a palace in Ujung Galuh and placed Adipati Jayengrono to lead that region. As he has had controlled the Crocodile power ( Ilmu Buaya ), he became stronger and independence, so it threatened Majapahit sovereignty. To subject Jayengrono , Sawunggaling has been sent to have learnt Sura Power ( Ilmu Sura) . The supernaturally competition has been done in seven days and seven night and lasted tragically, because both of them got powerless.

The word of ”Surabaya” was also has defined philosophically as Struggling symbolic between water and land. Beside that, from Surabaya words was also revealed about the myth of Suro (Sura) fish and Boyo (Baya or Buaya) ‘s war, which made many suggestion that Surabaya's name appeared after that war.

In order to solve the society suggestion, Walikotamadya Kepala Daerah Tingkat II Surabaya, Mr. Soeparno made Decision Certificate No. 64/WK/75 about the Anniversary of Surabaya. That Decision Certificate decided that May 31, 1293 as the Anniversary of Surabaya. That date has taken based on the agreement of many historians which have formed by the Surabaya governor that Surabaya's words came from words “ sura ing baya” that means “The courage to face the dangerous” taken from the part which Mongol troops have been beaten by the Jawa troops led bu Raden Wijaya in May 31,1293.

The story of Surabaya's symbol have many versions. One of the famous story was told by the leader of Nutspaarbank in Surabaya, LCR. Breeman in 1918, about the fighting of Sura fish and crocodile ( buaya)

There are many other stories abaout the meaning and the spirit of Surabaya. All of that inspired in creates Surabaya symbols. Surabaya's symbol that still being used now have released by dprs Kota Besar Surabaya with decision no. 34/DPRDS in June 19,1955 and have supported with President Decree (KEPPRES RI) No. 193 year 1956 in December 14,1956, which contained :

1. The symbol had the shape of the hexagon shield that distilled (gesty leerd), that have intention in protecting Surabaya City.
2. The Pillar painting of the Hero symbolized the Surabaya youth heroism in maintaining Independence against colonialism.
3. The Sura fish symbol and Baya meant Sura Ing Baya symbolized the characteristics of Surabaya youth's courage that did not vibrate faced a danger.
4. Blue colors, black, silver (white) and gold (yellow) was made be as Pure and sparkling, so that therefore was produced a satisfactory symbol.

Source :

  • Handinoto, Perkembangan Kota dan Arsitektur Kolonial Belanda di Surabaya 1870-1940, Andi, Yogyakarta, 1996
  • Old Website


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