Grand Palace – Bangkok’s Royal Palace
The Grand Palace in Bangkok was built by the decision of King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, also known as the Rama I. He decided to move the Siam capital from Thonburi on the west bank to the other side of the Chao Phraya River in 1782.
The Grand Palace was to become his new splendid place of residence as well as the center of his government. The place he chose however was occupied by the diligent Chinese merchants by that time and they were moved to the Yaowarat area where they stay to this day.
On the 6th of May, 1782, the construction of the tower of gold began. Several wooden buildings were constructed first, rising in the vast area of over 218,000 square meters.
Surrounding the outstanding buildings four defensive walls were erected. The Rama I then commanded the building of a temple for the Emerald Buddha which signified the faith in his heart. The temple served as the private place of worship of the Monarch as well as the Royal Temple.
The design of the Grand Palace is actually after the old sovereign palace located at Ayutthaya. The palace there just like the Grand Palace followed a rectangular outline. Just like that palace, the Royal Temple was situated at the east side; its west side sparkles by the river and every single structure was built saluting the righteous north.
There are obvious divisions of the palace into three quarters for proper functions too. The inner quarters which were the most protected and supreme, the middle quarters for the daily functions of the palace, and of course, the outer quarters for receiving and dealing with matters of government.
The Rattanakosin government and its royal court were most served by the Grand Palace in Bangkok. However during the glorious reign of King Chulalongkorn, Rama V, moved the seat of government to Dusit Palace.
The Grand Palace though served as his primary residence and office as well. Rama VI and Rama VII followed the steps of their father Rama V, and each had a different palace of their own liking.
Today, the Grand Palace serves as the place of royal celebrations such as coronations, marriages, state banquets and funerals. The offices of the Royal Institute of Thailand, the Bureau of the Royal Household and the Office of the Private Secretary to the King are inside the Grand Palace.
The Grand Palace is open every day from 8.30 to 15.30 . Although on some special occasions several of the buildings in the compound is closed.
Are you going there? Check out our Grand Palace Tour.
- Bangkok Tourist Attractions (bangkokbeyond.com)