THE GRAND PALACE HISTORY
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TOP TIP: THE EMERALD BUDDHA IS LOCATED IN THE GRAND PALACE
The Grand Palace Bangkok is a 218,400 Sqm2 man-made island with a complex of numerous buildings, halls, pavilions, temples set around open lawns, gardens and courtyards. Located in the heart of Bangkok, situated on the banks of Bangkoks major river, the Chao Phraya.
Construction of the palace began on May 6, 1782, at the order from the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, King Rama I. He moved the capital city from Thonburi (near Bangkok) to Bangkok. Divided into several quarters: The Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the outer court, middle court, inner court and the gardens quarter. The Grand Palace is currently primarily open to the public as a museum, with several functioning and working Royal offices still situated inside.
Its asymmetry and eclectic styles are due to its organic development. Additions and rebuilding being made by successive reigning Kings over 235 years of history, especially during the reign of King Rama V. 1853 -1910.
The palace was initially built entirely out of wood. Over the next few years The King began replacing wooden structures with masonry. To find more material for these constructions, King Rama I ordered his men to go upstream to the old capital city of Ayutthaya. Which was devastated in 1767 during the war between Burma and Siam (Thailand). They were tasked with the dismantling and removal of as many bricks as possible, with orders not to remove any from the existing temples.
They began by taking materials from the forts and walls of the city. Ultimately the old Royal palaces were completely levelled. The bricks were ferried down the Chao Phraya river by barges, where they were eventually incorporated into the walls of the Grand Palace and Bangkok alike.
The palace has been the official residence of the Kings of Thailand since 1782. The subsequent Kings, his court and his Royal government were based on the grounds of the palace until 1925. The Grand Palace is still used for official events, with several Royal ceremonies and state functions held every year. By 1925, the King, the Royal Family and the government were no longer permanently residing in the palace and had moved to other residences, coinciding with the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1932.
The Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) in the Grand Palace itself is the main attraction. A figurine of the meditating Buddha made from one solid piece of green jade, clothed in gold and diamonds. It is greatly revered from the Royal family to Thai nationals alike, as Thailand’s utmost precious religious icon...
EMERALD BUDDHA SEASONAL COSTUME CHANGING
In tone of great reverence for The Emerald Buddha a ceremonial costume change, only performed by the King of Thailand, occurs three times per year: for summer, rainy and winter seasons...
The Reclining Buddha (Wat Pho) is located 700 meters south of The Grand Palace. It is a world-renowned 46 meter long gold plated reclining Buddha. Its pose represents entry into complete spiritual enlightenment ending all worldly reincarnations. Within the surrounding corridor there are 108 bronze bowls representing the 108 auspicious characteristics of The Buddha. It is believed dropping coins into these bowls brings wealth and prosperity...