Bang Pa-In Palace: description, photo, how to get
This majestic palace complex, consisting of several buildings, was created in the seventeenth century by the Thai king Prasat Tong and has been the summer royal residence since the nineteenth century.
At that time, the Thai throne belonged to Rama V (also known as Chulalongkorn), who decided to expand the complex and built several palaces using different architectural styles. Therefore, the largest structure — Vihat-Chamrun — was created according to the project and with the money of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce by craftsmen from the Middle Kingdom, and the rest of the buildings were designed according to the strict canons of European architecture.
History of creation
The first buildings of this architectural ensemble were erected in honor of the foster mother of Prince Prasat Tonga. He was an illegal son, so as a child he was put into a boat and sent to float freely along the Chao Phraya River, which washes the city of Ayutthaya, the former capital of Thailand. But the prince did not die because he was rescued and adopted by a woman who lives on the island. The boy grew up and matured, returned to Ayutthaya and first became the minister of the court, then the first minister, and then the king, winning a bloody war over his rival in the fight for the throne.
After that, where his adoptive mother lived, Prasat Tong built a monastery, and a pond and Bang Pa In palace appeared not far from it. In 1767, Ayutthaya fell, chaos began in the country, and jungles grew up on the island, which swallowed the monastery along with the palace.
About a hundred years no one remembered the former royal residence, and only at the end of the nineteenth century Rama V decided to expand the palace complex, after which he built many new buildings and structures, as well as several temples: most of them are Buddhist, but there is a Catholic one, and even a small Chinese temple.
Location and design of the most interesting buildings
This summer palace in Thailand is compactly located on the island, and its numerous buildings stretched out both around the dug ornamental pond and along the Chao Phraya River, allowing tourists from all over the world to view its magnificent buildings during a river cruise. According to the ancient tradition, the palace complex consists of two parts connected by a bridge: one of them is intended for the reception of important guests and officials, and in the second the king lived with his family and courtiers.
The most notable exterior part of the architectural ensemble is Aisavan Thiphat — a unique throne room and the pavilion of Rama V, in which private chambers are still loved to rest by members of the royal family. Inside this pavilion, built in Thai style, is a bronze statue of Chulalongkorn, as well as several paintings by European artists, which Rama V. liked.
The main building of the courtyard was the royal residence of Uthayan Bhusamisaten, furnished with French furniture made during the reign of Napoleon III. This building burned down in the middle of the last century and has recently been completely renovated. We should also mention the tower Vithun Thasana, located in the center of the park area. It was created to study the stars and, oddly enough, to observe the wild elephants, on which Rama V liked to watch. This tower is now open to tourists, and it offers a beautiful view of the surrounding area.
How to get to the complex
Bang Pa In is located 60 kilometers from Bangkok and 20 kilometers from Ayutthaya. You can reach it from the Thai capital in two hours by train, which runs from Hualamphong station to Bang Pa-In station. Arriving at Bang Pa-In station, it is recommended to take a tuk-tuk, a trip on it to the complex will take about five minutes; You can walk to the gates of the former royal residence yourself in twenty minutes. Also, the complex can be reached by bus from the station Mor chit, this trip will take about an hour.
The complex is open seven days a week from 8 to 17 hours local time, the price of tickets is 100 baht, and they are sold only until 15:30. You cannot use a camera here, and all visitors have to observe a strict dress code (for this, a sarong is issued at the entrance). You can not visit all the buildings, because some pavilions and palaces are still used during official receptions.