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Location: Grand Palace
The Grand Palace is a complex of impressive buildings at the heart of Bangkok, Thailand. It’s a striking place filled with numerous temples, including Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), which houses the 15th-century Emerald Buddha. Nearby Wat Pho is famous for : a larger-than-life golden reclining Buddha statue.
The robes on the Buddha are changed with the seasons by HM The King of Thailand and forms an important ritual in the Buddhist calendar. Thai Kings stopped living in the palace around 20th century, but the palace complex is still used to mark all kinds of other ceremonial and auspicious happenings.
The palace complex is well laid out with the Outer Court, near the entrance, used to house government departments in which the King was directly involved, such as civil administration, the army and the treasury. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha is located in one corner of this outer court. The Central Court is where the residence of the King and halls used for conducting state business were located. The Inner Court is where the King’s royal consorts and daughters lived. The Inner Court was like a small city entirely populated by women and boys under the age of puberty. Other highlights are Boromabiman Hall and Amarinda Hall, the original residence of King Rama I and the Hall of Justice.
Wat Phra Kaew or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (officially known as Wat Phra Sri Rattana Satsadaram) is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand. Located in the historic centre of Bangkok, within the grounds of the Grand Palace, it enshrines Phra Kaew Morakot (the Emerald Buddha), the highly revered Buddha image meticulously carved from a single block of jade. The Emerald Buddha (Phra Putta Maha Mani Ratana Patimakorn) is a Buddha image in the meditating position in the style of the Lanna school of the north, dating from the 15th century.
Royal Reception Halls Nowadays, its impressive interior is used for important ceremonial occasions like coronations. It also contains the antique throne. Visitors are allowed inside the spacious European style reception room or Grand Palace Hall (Chakri Maha Prasat). Then there’s the impressive Dusit Hall, rated as perhaps the finest architectural building in this style, and a museum that has information on the restoration of the Grand Palace, scale models and numerous Buddha images.
The Grand Palace
Daily from 8.30am to 3.30pm
Location: Na Phra Lan Road, Old City (Rattanakosin), Phra Nakhon, Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: +66 (0)2 623 5500
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