Tourist Attraction in Bangkok: Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang
The Great Royal Palace (Phra Borom Maha Ratcha Wang) is a complex of buildings located in the central district of Phra Nakhon. It is the official residence of the kings of Thailand since 1785. The construction of the palace began in 1782, at the beginning of the reign of Rama Primo, who moved the capital from nearby Thonburi to Bangkok. Over the years the building has been enlarged several times, with the construction of new buildings, and modified with the demolition or restoration of obsolete buildings. When King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama Primo) moved the capital to Bangkok, he built the sumptuous palace that was originally the royal residence and the seat of government. He chose an area near the Chao Phraya River occupied by Chinese merchants who moved to the nearby area of Yaowarat, a settlement that expanded in the following centuries to become one of the largest chinatowns in the world. The Grand Palace is surrounded by a circle of walls 1900 meters long and stands on an area of 218.400 square meters. The construction of the golden tower began on May 6, 1782. At first the palace consisted of a group of wooden buildings. Inside the walls the king also built the royal chapel of Wat Phra Kaew, where he kept the Emerald Buddha, the statue representing the palladium of the Thai monarchy. When the palace was completed, the king inaugurated it in 1785 with a solemn ceremony on the day of his coronation. Outside the circle of walls is the royal square Sanam Luang. Later the kings Rama V, Rama VI and Rama VII chose different residences, while King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) returned to reside in the Great Royal Palace in 1945. In 1946 the king died in mysterious circumstances in one of the buildings of the complex and his successor, Brother Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), preferred to move to Palazzo Chitralada, also in the center of Bangkok. On the death of his father, the next king Rama X maintained his residence at the Villa Amphorn Satharn. The Great Royal Palace, however, remains the official residence of the king and is used for royal ceremonies such as weddings, funerals, state banquets, etc., and also houses the offices of the royal family and the king's private secretary. The complex is divided into four parts. The inner courtyard, located to the north, where there are buildings whose access was allowed only for women and the sovereign. In addition to the monarch wives, concubines and daughters, all the female staff of the various buildings of the palace resided there, and even the guards were women. The outer courtyard, to the south, in whose palaces were housed the offices of the ministries, the Royal Guard and the Treasury. The central courtyard, where the most interesting buildings are located, including the Phra Thi Nang Chakri Maha Prasad, which houses the throne room where the king gathered the court and gave audiences, built by Rama V in a mixed style between the Italian Renaissance and the classic Thai. Wat Phra Kaew, which means temple of the Emerald Buddha, a complex of religious buildings of different styles and eras. Inside its main temple is the sacred Emerald Buddha, palladium of the Thai monarchy and one of the most revered statues of Theravada Buddhism.