Bangkok Jewel: Thailand’s Grand Palace 

By Phil Butler
Phil Butler
Phil Butler
Phil Butler is a publisher, editor, author, and analyst who is a widely cited expert on subjects from digital and social media to travel technology. He's covered the spectrum of writing assignments for The Epoch Times, The Huffington Post, Travel Daily News, HospitalityNet, and many others worldwide.
October 29, 2021 Updated: October 29, 2021

Covering some 54 acres in the heart of Bangkok, the Grand Palace is one of the world’s most stunning architectural wonders. Built by Chakri Dynasty founder Rama I, the palace served as the Thai royal residence up until 1925.

Built on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River beginning in 1782, the palace expanded into a massive complex of buildings. It served as the official residence of the kings of Siam (and later Thailand). In all, the palace counts more than 100 fabulous buildings surrounded by high walls.

Construction began when Rama I moved his capital from Thonburi to Bangkok. Successive kings expanded the palace over the course of 200 years to glorify their reigns. Today, the castle serves as a religious site, a cultural treasure, and a monument to the traditional principles of Thai religious architecture.

Epoch Times Photo
The palace has several distinct quarters, including the Temple of the Emerald Buddha; the Outer Court, the Middle Court, including the Phra Maha Monthian Buildings, the Phra Maha Prasat Buildings (above), and Chakri Maha Prasat Buildings; the Inner Court; and the Siwalai Gardens quarter. (Unserekleinemaus/Pixabay)
Epoch Times Photo
It is difficult to imagine a more ornate architectural creation. The buildings, halls, pavilions set around open lawns, gardens, and numerous courtyards of the palace complex are a unique showcase of Thai religious tradition and architecture. (Gary Todd/Public Domain)
Epoch Times Photo
To the east of the palace’s Royal Pantheon, King Rama I placed two golden chedis (or pagodas) for his father, and his mother. (Simon Steinberger, CC 0 – Universal Public Domain)
Epoch Times Photo
The Chapel of the Emerald Buddha is the most important building in the palace. The Emerald Buddha is also the most important religious icon in Thailand. The statue is draped in three different seasonal costumes to represent summer, the rainy season, and winter. Here the statue wears rainy season vestments. (JPSwimmer/CC BY-SA 3.0)
Epoch Times Photo
In Southeast Asian mythology, kinnaris, the female counterpart of kinnaras, are depicted as half-bird, half-woman creatures. They are the traditional symbols of feminine beauty and grace. (Praveen/CC BY 2.0)
Epoch Times Photo
Another fascinating feature inside the palace walls is a small model of a Cambodian temple at Angkor Wat built by Rama IV. At the time, about half of what is now Cambodian territory was a vassal state of Thailand, and the king wanted to show to his people the grandeur that was under his domain. (Praveen/CC BY 2.0)
Epoch Times Photo
King Rama III commissioned the cast bronze hermit figure outside Phra Ubosot or The Chapel of the Emerald Buddha to commemorate Thai traditional medicine. (Kathy/CC BY 2.0)
Epoch Times Photo
Chakri Maha Prasat (above) is one of the more interesting buildings inside the palace walls. Built by King Rama V, it was designed by British architect John Clunich to reflect the king’s westernized ideas. However, controversy over some facets of the design led to reverting to more Siamese motifs. For example, a domed roof was replaced with the Thai-style one we see today. (Radek Kucharski/CC BY 2.0)
Phil Butler
Phil Butler is a publisher, editor, author, and analyst who is a widely cited expert on subjects from digital and social media to travel technology. He's covered the spectrum of writing assignments for The Epoch Times, The Huffington Post, Travel Daily News, HospitalityNet, and many others worldwide.