Monday, October 12, 2009
Destination - Bang Pa In Palace
The Outer Palace grounds
Standing on the opposite shores of the ornamental pond is Saphakhan Ratchaprayun (The Assembly Hall for Royal Relatives). This colonial-style two-story building was built in 1879 for use by King Chulalongkorn's brothers. The building is now home to a small exhibition detailing the history of the palace complex.
From here you will also be able to see a truly wonderful Thai-style building that sits on an island in the center of the lake. Glistening in sumptuous gold, Phra Thinang (Royal residence) Aisawan Thiphya-Art (The Divine Seat of Personal Freedom) is considered to be the finest example of a Thai pavilion (sala Thai) and has been designated a national symbol. The pavilion houses a statue of Rama V (King Chulalongkorn).
As you journey further along the pathway you will begin to approach the Inner Palace area. Ahead you will see the graceful arches of the main entrance to the Inner Palace, the Thewarat Khanlai Gate (The God Goes Forth). Leading from the gate is a covered bridge which has a louvered wall so that the ladies of the court could look out onto the Outer Palace area without being seen. This bridge connects the gate to the Warophat Phiman (Excellent and Shining Heavenly Abode) located on the opposite river bank.
Warophat Phiman was once a two-story wooden villa, which was used as both royal living quarters and a throne hall, however in 1876, Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) ordered the original building demolished and replaced by a single story European style mansion. King Chulalongkorn's throne hall is open to visitors and well worth a visit, as it is richly decorated and houses many fine paintings and historical records.
The Inner Palace grounds