Grand Palace in Bangkok
If there is a monument to visit during a stay in Bangkok, it is the Grand Palace. A magnificent royal palace which shelters the temple of the Emerald Buddha and which is also the seat of the Thai government which has its offices there. It is a complex of 218 hectares long.
The Grand Palace was built in 1782 by King Rama I who created the Chakri dynasty, the same dynasty that still rules today. He decided to establish a new capital in the village of Bangkok on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok became the metropolis and capital of Thailand that we know today.
What makes the Grand Palace famous is not only its architecture and its history but also the temple of Emerald Buddha of the name Wat Phra Kaew which it shelters. It dates from the 14th century and is considered the symbol of the Chakri dynasty. It is protected from evil spirits by giant guardians who stand at each entrance of the temple.
This temple is considered to be the most important one in Bangkok because it reflects the image of Buddha in meditation position. The Emerald Buddha has 3 robes adorned with precious stones which are changed only by the King in a ceremony held 3 times a year (summer, rainy season and winter) in order to bring good luck to the country in each season. One might think that the Emerald Buddha is large in size, but this is far from being the case. It is 66 cm high and 43 cm wide and is placed on a jadeite block measuring 75 cm high and 45 cm wide. A temple which stands in the heart of the Grand Palais and which is to be visited in any season.
Within the Grand Palace is a gallery containing paintings that tell the story of Ramakien, the epic story of King Phram Ram of Ayutthaya who went in search of his wife who was kidnapped by the demon Thotsakan in the hope that she would fall in love with him. To know the whole story, visit this gallery which offers paintings more beautiful than the others and plunge in the heart of the history of Ramakien.
Between wonder and curiosity, the Grand Palace of Bangkok with its architecture and its paintings, as well as the Emerald Buddha offers a moment of escape and a true dive in the heart of the Thai culture, a visit not to be missed during a stay in Bangkok.