Grand Palace Bangkok

The Grand Palace occupies an area of over 218,000 sq. meters adjacent to the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Rama I on ascending the throne moved the palace from its location in Dhonburi on the other side of the river to its present site. The walls were built in 1783 and after erecting public monuments, like the fortifications and monasteries, the palace was built. Within the walls the Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha, the palace offices and the royal residence were placed.

Today’s visitors are treated to a magnificent display of history and artefacts of the legendary Siam. Buildings adorned with ornate carvings and mystical figures are the norm as are statues of these mystical figures and shrines honouring numerous different things are common. You can spend hours and hours walking the grounds of the Grand Palace and still not have your fill of its beauty.

Within the walls of the Grand Palace are many buildings and temples, over 30, to enjoy. As shown by the pictures (above) many are elaborately decorated and have ornate roof structures. Many others contain (below) shrines to various revered entities.

The people of Thailand seem to be very religious. Wats, or local Buddhist temples, were located throughout the country and very accessible to the population. Every one we visited was crowded with people and not just tourists. The faithful brought offerings to the shrines and could be seen praying often. Elephant shrines were common throughout Thailand as the elephant is a revered animal there. Not only have they played an important role in building much of Thailand they have also been important to the history and culture of Thailand. It is said that the kingdom will fall when the last white elephant dies and, we were told, only one white elephant remains today.

Throughout the Grand Palace many statues of mystical figures can be found. Most, like above and below, combine animal features with human forms. From what I understand these figures evolved from the imaginations of the artist and are valued for their aesthetic inspiration. Others, like below, are more elaborately decorated or covered with a brilliant gold.

The Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha houses a beautiful statue of Buddha that is the object of national veneration. While it is made of jade and not emeralds, the statue attracts huge crowds who come to pay their respects to the memory of Buddha and His Teachings on those days of the week it is open. The main building consists of all the features of a monastery except living quarters. Monks do not live within the chapel as they do in others. The Emerald Buddha was first discovered in 1464 and brought to Lampan where it remained until King Tilok of Lannatai brought it to Chienmai, the ancient capital. Power eventually passed to King Jayajettha of Luan Praban, whose mother was a Chienmai Princess, and he took the statue with him back to Luan Praban. King Jayajettha moved the capital to Wiencand and took the Emerald Buddha with him. It remained there until the King of Dhonburi sent an expedition to Wiencand which brought the effigy back with them. When King Rama I built the city of Bangkok and the chapel royal and grand palace the Emerald Buddha was installed in the chapel. There is only one other effigy that the Thai people hold with as much veneration as the Emerald Buddha. That is the Sambuddhabarni Buddha cast by King Monkut, Rama IV. The building contains murals depicting the life of Buddha, a painted middle-aged conception of the universe, birth stories and nursery rhymes. Some of the door panels contain beautiful inlaid work in mother-of-pearl.

The Chapel Royal of the Emerald Buddha is, perhaps, the most beautiful of the buildings at the Grand Palace. It is so elaborately decorated on its outside walls with hundreds, if not thousands, of small golden statues of mystical figures. Pictures inside the chapel are not allowed, but the real beauty (besides the statue of Buddha) is outside.

More information before your trip to Thailand:



Prenez vos billets d’avion jusqu'à Bangkok, nous nous occupons du reste, guide, transports, visites, circuits, hotels, vols, trains, bus... Avec notre Association de Guides Touristique nous vous proposons un accompagnement durant vos visites d'un Guide Thailandais francophone, de la prestigieuse Silpakorn University. Diplomé et certifié par une licence du Ministère du Tourisme de Thailande (TAT), avec plus de dix années d'expérience, ils vous guideront à travers le Pays du Sourire "En Français".

Publié le septembre 12, 2011, dans Bangkok Thailande, et tagué , , , , , , . Bookmarquez ce permalien. 1 Commentaire.

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