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Bangkok Historical Significance

Fortification: Phra Sumen Fort

Fortification: Phra Sumen Fort

Address:
Banglamphu Sub-District Phra Nakhon District Bangkok 10200
Directions:
Bus No. 3, 32, 68, 506 (air-con); Bus No.  6, 9, 15 ,19, 30, 33, 39, 53, 64, 65, 68, 82;  Chao Phraya Express Boat: Phra Athit Pier.
Opening Hours:
Daily from 8 am - 5 pm
Phone:
Unknown
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 
 
 

 

Information: Phra Sumen Fort was built on what is now the north end of Phra Athit Road running a longside the Chao Phraya River and was one of the first 14 Forts constructed on the outer wall. The surrounding area is now a public park with views over the Chao Phraya River. The other remaining Fort of the original 14 is Fort Mahakan.

 

Fortification: The City Wall of Rama 1

Fortification: The City Wall of Rama 1

Address:
Not Added
Directions:
Not Added
Opening Hours:
Daily
Phone:
Unknown
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 

 

Information: These walls were started in 1782 and ran parallel to the Chao Phraya River as it is today and was 7 kilometers long, 3.6 metres high and 2.7 meters think. At every 400 meters there was a fort complex and in total it had 63 gates although 47 of these were very narrow entrances.

Most of these forts and the walls were subsequently removed as the city expanded and threats of Burmese invasion ceased. Similarly war frare become such with advanced canons that they become ineffective in protecting the population behind them. The modern beneit of being a tourist attraction was never contemplated, as is the case in Beijing and other great fortified cities. Part of the wall and a canon and other artifacts can be seen in the outdoor museum in the grounds of Bangkok's Thammasart University adjacent to the Chao Phrao River Bank.

 

Fortification: Wichaiprasit Fort

Address:
Not Added
Directions:
Not Added
Opening Hours:
Daily
Phone:
Unknown
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 

 

Information: Wichayen Fort as it was first named was constructed during the reign of King Narai. There was also another fort on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River. At times these two Forts were joined by a metal chain which crossed the river just below the water level to prevent unauthorised vessels traveling upstream and in land.

 

Giant Swing

Giant Swing

Address:
Bamrung Muang Road Sao Chingcha Sub-District Phra Nakhon District Bangkok 10200
Directions:
In front of Wat Suthat. Bus No. 42 (air-con), Bus No.  10, 12, 19, 35, 56, 96.
Opening Hours:
Daily
Phone:
Unknown
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 
 
 

 

Information: The Ceremony of Triyampavai-Tripavai, was one of the 12 Royal ceremonies held in each month since the Sukhothai period. It was carried out in December, the first lunar month. By the Rattanakosin period, it had changed to the second lunar month, January.
It was regarded by the Brahmins as a new year's ceremony. Shiva was said to visit the Earth for 10 days every year. Brahmins would meet at Shiva's shrine and wash the bodies and hair of priests to welcome Shiva.

Swing Ceremony: Originates from a story in the scriptures. Concerned about the end of the world, Uma Devi contrived a bet with Shiva. A serpent was suspended between Putsa trees (Jujube) on the river, swinging back and forth between them. Shiva stood in its path on one leg with the other crossed. If the serpent struck Shiva and he fell, that would signify that the world would end. But Shiva did not fall, proving that the whole of creation was secured and strong, so Shiva won.
The Swing Ceremony compares the swing to the Putsa trees, while the space between its posts is the river. Naliwan is the serpent, with Phraya Yuen standing cross-legged on a benjamas wood.

Giant Swing: King Rama I ordered it built in front of the Devasathan at the centre of the city. It was moved to its present position in the reign of King Rama V, to make room for a gas plant. The ceremony was removed from the list of royal ceremonies in the reign of King Rama VII. At present, it may still be held with Royal sponsorship, but only in the Devasathan.

 

 

Government House

Government House

Address:
Nakhon Pathom Road Dusit Sub-District Dusit District Bangkok 10300
Directions:
Bus No. 23, 505 (air-con); Bus No. 10, 16, 23, 99, 201
Opening Hours:
Daily from 8.30 am - 4.30 pm
Phone:
+66 22 812 240
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 
 
 

 

Information: 

Originally called Norasingh Residence King Rama VI commissioned this as a residence for General Chao Phraya Ram Rakop. Later, the government bought it and obtained the right of ownership from the general's heir. Since then it ha been the Government House and the venue where official guests of the government are entertained.

Thaikoofah Mansion: Formerly named Kraisorn Mansion, this two-storey building combines the Italian Renaissance style with Gothic pointe arches in the exterior walls. There are frescoes o the main ceilings. The building contains an No Room for receiving foreign dignitaries. To its right are the Purple reception room, and the Dome room where official guests may be accommodated

Nareesmosom Mansion: formerly called Pr Kan Building, this is the administrative office 0 the Government House.

Santimaitree Mansion: This is made up o two buildings which surround an open area wit a fountain in the centre. The front building was built when F.M. Plaek Pibulsongkram was prim minister, the rear building in the time of F.M. Sari Thanarat. Both buildings are used for reception and seminars.

 

Krungthep Bridge

Krungthep Bridge

Address:
Thanon Tok Intersection Bangkholaem Sub-District Bangkholaem District Bangkok 10210
Directions:
Bus No. 4, 20 (air-con), Bus No. 1, 15, 17, 22, 75, 89, 205.
Opening Hours:
Daily
Phone:
Unknown
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 

 

Information: The 350.80 m. Krungthep Bridge opened on June 25, 1959 was the second bridge to be built across Chao Phraya River, following Puttayodfa or Memorial Bridge. Apart from facilitating comunication across the Chao Phraya, the bridge can be opened to allow the passage of ships along the river.

 

Lak Muang Bangkok's City Pillar

Lak Muang Bangkok's City Pillar

Address:
Maha Chai Road Phra Borommaharatchawang Sub-District, Phra Nakhon District Bangkok 10200
Directions:
Bus No.  1, 3, 6, 9, 15, 19, 25, 30, 32, 33, 39, 43, 44, 47, 53, 59, 60, 64, 65, 70, 80, 82, 91, 123, 201, 203; Air Con Bus: 1, 3, 25, 38, 39, 44, 82, 507, 508, 512.
Opening Hours:
Daily
Phone:
Unknown
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 

 

Information: On the northeastern corner opposite the Grand Palce walls and on the other side of the road is a shrine in which are the Bangkok city pillars. These are the abode of Phra Lak Muang the guardien spirit of Bangkok. Such city pillaras are found elswhere in South East Asia and in Thailand can be seen in Chiang Mai. The concept originates from India and stone versions can be found elsewhere in Cambodia. In Thailand they served as a political statement by the ruling classes. The maning and fuction of City pillars in Thailand has changed over time.

The taller one is the original constructed and erected on orders of Rama 1 on April 1782 some 15 days after his coronation and commencement of work on construction of the new City of Bangkok.

The pillar symbolised the position of the new capital and contained a horoscope intented to ensure prosperity and success from future Burmese invasions. The shorter pillar was erected 71 years later under the reign of Rama1V.

The taller pillar of Rama 1 symbolised a position and housed a horoscope. In Rattanakosin periods the reference to Phra Lak Muang and other city guardian spirits appears in royal incantations. As a symbol of the Chakri Siam Empire other City pillars were also erected in strategic City centres away from Bangkok but demarcation of the extent of the Empire, such as at Songkhla in the South which oversaw the Malay vassal kingdoms, in Cambodia at Battambabg, Chanthathuri and Chachoengsao, Samut Prakan and elswhere.

Under the reign of Rama 1V, King Mongkut, the pillars took on a different symbolism. King Mongkut had the taller pillar removed and replaced with a new and smaller one which also contained a new horoscope for the City and which dealt with the problems of those times, not the threat of Burmese of Vietnamese invasions but the threat of European Colonialists. King Mongkut, also a former Buddhist monk also had the image of Phra Sayamthevathirat created and designated it as the supreme diety of the KIingdom of Siam. Thus having this new god, the role of Phra Lak Muang and other guardian spirits was less important. From here on the practise of building city pillars ceased as the Royal power was controlled by western styled systems of government and civil servants.

 

 

Oriental Hotel

Oriental Hotel

Address:
48 Chareonkrung 40 Lane, Chareonkrung Road, Bangrak Sub-District, Bangrak District, Bangkok 10500
Directions:
Bus No. 2, 4, 15, 36, Sai 38, 93, 75, 77, Mb 17, 20 (air-con), Bus No.  1, 15, 35, 75, 77, 115, Chao Phraya Express Boat: Oriental Pier.
Opening Hours:
Daily
Phone:
+66 24 161 260
Admission Fee:
Free
Hotelbooking:
You can book this hotel here
 

 

Information: The opening of the country in the reign of king Rama IV led to important changes to Bangkok with the visits of foreign diplomats, traveIlers, traders and missionaries, and it brought to the city its first hotel in 1865.

At that time, two Danish seamen, Captains Jarck and Salje, got together to found the Oriental Hotel on the banks of the Chao Phraya River.

Old Building: S. Cardu, an Italian architect, designed this first building, and its facade is the original symbol of the hotel. The suites in this wing of the hotel are named after writers who haves stayed there, such as Somerset Maugham and Joseph Conrad.

Oriental Hoteliers' School: The school building on the opposite bank of the river was once the house of Phraya Mahaisawan, the first mayer of Thonburi. He played a major role in developing the Thonburi side of the the city.

 

Rama VI Bridge

Rama VI Bridge

Address:
Prachachun Road Bangsue Sub-District Bangsue District Bangkok 10800
Directions:
Bus No. 6, 23, 49, 25Koe, 203, Mb 1 (air-con); Bus No. 18, 32, 33, 49, 50, 64, 90, 110, 117, 203.
Opening Hours:
Daily
Phone:
None
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 
 
 

 

Information: Rama VI bridge was built in 1922 during the reign of King Rama VI at Bangson Sub-District . It was designed to be a rail link between the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River and the western bank, and thus connect the railway system of Bangkok with the west and south of the country. The bridge has a beam of eight metres, allowing medium-sized ships to pass beneath it.

During World War II, the bridge was severely damaged. Repairs were started in 1950, during the reign of HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

 

Silpakorn University

Silpakorn University

Address:
31 Na Phralan Road Phraborommaharatchawang Sub-District, Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok 10200
Directions:
Bus No. Sai 25, 39, 44, 91, 501, 508, 512 (air-con), Bus No.  1, 15, 19, 25, 43, 44, 47, 53, 59, 82, 91, 123, 203; Chao Phraya Express Boat: Tha Chang Pier; Ferry: Tha Chang Pier Phrachan Nua Pier.
Opening Hours:
Daily from 8.30 am - 4.30 pm
Phone:
+66 26 236 115
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 

 

Information: The original site of this university was Tha Phra Palace, the temple of Royal Grandchildren of King Rama I. It was later used as a residence for she sons of various kings, and HRH Prince Narissaranuwadtiwongse was the last prince to stay there.

Silpakorn was the first university of art in Thailand and was founded from the Fine Arts Department School which taught painting and sculpture to civil servants and other students who were accepted without fees. It was Prof. Silpa Bhirasri who laid the foundations for the study of European art here, and since then faculties have been opened in more subjects, such as Architecture, Archaeology and Interior Design.

Art Gallery: Temporary exhibitions are held here. It is in three sections: the main audience chamber of the old Tha Phra Palace, and galleries for Painting, Sculpture and Prints Faculty, and the Faculty of Interior Design.

Wang Tha Phra Library: Situated at the right of the university gate on Na Phralan Road, this is the biggest art library in the country, and a centre for artistic information.

Monument to Prof. Silpa Bhirasri: This stands in front of the Painting, Sculpture and Prints Faculty.

 

Thammasat University

Thammasat University

Address:
Na Phrathat Road, Phra Borommaharatchawan Sub-District, Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok 10200
Directions:
Bus No.: 15, 30, 32, 33, 47, 53, 59, 64, 65, 70, 80, 82, 91, 203;
 Air-con Bus No.: 1, 8, 25, 39, 44, 59, 82, 506, 507, 512; Chao Phraya Express Boat Tha chang Pier; Ferry: Phrachan Nua Pier.
Opening Hours:
Daily from 8.30 am - 4 pm
Phone:
+66 22 216 111
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 

 

Information: After the change of government in 1932, Thammasat University was founded to service the new political system governing the country.

On June 27, 1934, the day King Rama VIII gave a temporary constitution to the Thai people, the University of Jurisprudence and Politics was founded with Dr. Pridi Banomyong (Luang Pradit Manutham) as a rector.

In its first period, the university was known as 'a "knowledge market." It did not receive a state budget, and charged low tuition fees which were used for the university's expenses. The name was later changed to Thammasat University for political reasons.

Dome Building: The symbol of the university, this was originally four old military buildings. The architect for the conversion was Jitsen Aphaiyawong, who built a roof joining the four buildings and crowning it with a spire. Now only two buildings remain.

Underneath the roof is a clock, which makes this building the university's clock tower.
The room beneath the clock was formerly the office of Dr. Pridi Banomyong,who founded the university.

 

Thawornwatthu Building

Thawornwatthu Building

Address:
Na Phrathat Road Phraborommaharatchawang Sub-District, Phra Nakhon District, Bangkok 10200
Directions:
Bus No. 1, 8, 25, 506, 507, 512, Sai 38, 39, 44 (air-con), Chao Phraya Express Boat:
Tha Chang Pier.
Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday from 9 am - 4.30 pm
Phone:
+66 22 216 830
Admission Fee:
Free
Website:
None
 

 

Information: When HRH Crown Prince Vajirunhis passed away, his father King Rama V remarked that it would be inappropriate to build large funeral buildings for a single purpose. He therefore ordered HRH Prince Naris to build the Thawornwatthu Building insead of a temporary funeral building. When the Royal funeral was complete, the king donated the building for the purpose of educating monks at i novices. It was then named "Sanghisenas Ratcha vitayalai."

Construction of Thawornwatthu Building was completed in the reign of King Rama VI, and it was first given as a Royal library for monks in Bangkok. In the reign of King Rama VII, many more books were added to the library, and the king decided to institute the Vachirayan and Vachiravudh Royal Libraries. He gave Sivamokkhaphiman hall in the Front Palace to be the Vachirayan Library. Scriptures, state papers and correspondence were kept here. The Thawornwatthu Building itself was used for printed material, photographs and newspapers, and was known as the "Vachiravudh Library."

 

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