Hi all! How is everything? Hope this year has started well for all…
Do you remember which was the most luxurious and lush place you have ever been?
Well, I guess that for me “The Grand Palace”, located in Bangkok, Thailand, is so far one of the top 5 of those places on my list.
I was just paralysed with so many textures, colours and ornaments in this beautiful complex! It is just shocking especially if you visit it in a very sunny day, as I did.
We had recently a post on this Blog related to Ayutthaya Ancient Capital, Thailand. In summary, after the destruction of Ayutthaya by the Burmese the capital of the Siamese Kingdom (today part of Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam) migrated to Thonburri, already close to Bangkok actually just across the river, and then finally to Bangkok, in the place where used to be occupied by a Chinese Community which was relocated to where today we find the Bangkok’s Chinatown.
The Grand Palace’s layout was planned similarly to the Ayutthaya Ancient Capital, it actually has remains of the ancient capital , mainly materials from forts and walls of the city. However, the temples remained untouched. The collected bricks were then incorporated into the walls of Bangkok and the Grand Palace itself.
Its constructions began on 6 May 1782 and was utilised until the 1920’s when a series of new palaces were constructed elsewhere for the king’s use; these included the more modern Dusit Palace and the Phaya Thai Palace. Therefore, these other Bangkok residences began to replace the Grand Palace as the primary place of residence of the monarch and his court. By 1925 this gradual move out of the palace was complete.
The Grand Palace is divided into four main courts, separated by numerous walls and gates: the Outer Court, the Middle Court, the Inner Court and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Each of these court’s functions and access are clearly defined by laws and traditions. The Outer Court is in the northwestern part of the Grand Palace; within are the royal offices and (formerly) state ministries. To the northeast is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, the royal chapel, and home of the Emerald Buddha. The Middle Court housed the most important state apartments and ceremonial throne halls of the king. The Inner Court, at the south end of the complex, was reserved only for females, as it housed the king’s harem.
The newest parts of the Grand Palace such as the “Phra Thinang Chakri Maha Prasat” present an interesting blend of Thai Architectural elements with European (French Belle Epoque to be more specific) classic styles. That is visible as well in the Landscaping of those areas with the topiary very characteristic of the French European gardens.
Today the Grand Palace is still a centre of ceremony and of the current monarchy, and serves as a museum and tourist attraction as well. Whether you are interested in Architecture, Religion or Thai Culture, I am pretty sure this place will just amaze you with its grandiosity and exuberance.
*All the images in this post belongs to the writer´s personal gallery and correspond to intellectual property, otherwise as noted.