Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Grand Palace

The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings in Bangkok, Thailand. It served as the official residence of the king of Thailand from the 18th century to the mid-20th century. After the death of King Ananda Mahidol in the Grand Palace, King Bhumibol moved the official royal residence to Chitralada Palace. Construction of the palace complex began in 1782, during the reign of Rama I.

The palace complex sits on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. The other approaches to the palace are protected by a defensive wall of 1,900 metres in length, which encloses an area of 218,400 square metres. Further out from the wall is a canal, which was also created for defensive purposes, making the area surrounding the palace an island, known as Rattanakosin.
Prominent parts of the Grand Palace:
- Wat Phra Kaew, the temple containing the Emerald Buddha
- Chakri Mahaprasad Hall, a building in a style influenced by the Italian Renaissance

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