When I visited Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, I, of course, had to pass by the Grand Palace. Not only because it was recommended to me so many times, but also because I had been there once before. Because my family and I loved it so much we just HAD to go again. So, in the little time, we had (we only stayed in Bangkok for a day) early in the morning, we quickly stopped by and visited the main area of the grand Palace, all in stress to make sure we would still catch our next flight to our next destination. Even though I had been there before, I was still as dumbfounded as the first time, except now I was older and felt more fascinated. We didn’t have time to get a tour guide, but I eavesdropped by a group of Americans who were listening to a little Thai woman talking about the architecture and I got interested.
The Grand Palace of Bangkok’s construction started in 1782 due to the idea of King Rama the first to honour the Chakri Dynasty by building a new royal palace. Until 1925 it was the home of the royal family. Until it became a tourist attraction, the place never stopped developing. As the royal family changed, new constructions were built and new things were added to the already standing temples.
Since the Grand Palace is based on the Buddhist religion, there are trades from India and China seen in the designs. Examples of this are are the roofs of the palace, based on the Chinese’s roofs that overlap a bit further than the roof really goes, hanging down and holding on to other particular shapes attached to the outstanding part of the roofs. (Shown in picture 1) Not only this but also images of Chinese soldiers and Indian goddesses/gods are engraved in the temples, showing more of the history and relationships with the other countries. Not only is this seen, but also the country’s relationship amongst nature, including the four elements and specific flowers such as the lotus flower are seen. The lotus flower is placed in golden bowls filled with water. The flower stands for good luck and self-growth spoke about in Buddhism. Tourists are allowed to take one of the lotus’ out of the water bowl and touch their head with the head of the flower for good luck.
The Thai architecture can be categorised in three different categories. These are; temple and shrine architecture, palace architecture and traditional Thai house architecture. The first two are discovered in the Grand Palace, but also trades of the third one are seen in the little temples surrounding the palace. The variation of rich colours and details are famous in the country’s culture due to the money and time spend.
A Buddha statue set on every corner of templeMosaic details
The gold seen in almost every picture represents the royalty, prosperity and wealth of the country. In a religious perspective the colour is connected to the power of the sun and gods and goddesses, illuminating its warm colour, empowering the love from the deepest of darkness. When the sun shines on the golden tiles, the sun reflects back on them. This has been told to represent self-reflection, showing confidence and being one with yourself, so you are able to respect and accept the ones around you. Another prominent feature is the mosaic. The mosaic is shown in a huge variety of colours, made from clay or glass. They give another vision of the masterpieces. They show how long it took the construct the Grand Palace, which tourists from all around the world still respect now.
(All images are taken by me)