Friday, 23 January 2015

Day 4 - The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall

We started our day with a 30 minute walk to The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall. Using Kevin's new phone with the maps downloaded and stored in the phone is making us a little lazy mentally (not much skill needed in following a route with a moving green dot) but not physically lazy at least! We have walked kilometres every day.

These displays to the King and Queen can be found on all the main roads and are just so lovely, this one was on our walk.

And here is the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall.

It was built about 100 years ago, when Thailand (or known as Siam during that period) architecture was greatly influence by the Western art. The entire building was built with marble imported from Italy with a great interior decoration where you will find many portraits of the kings of Chakri dynasty.

Kevin and I both commented how light and cheerful the building and contents were. Having seen some of the most beautiful palaces in England, Scotland and France the poor Europeans live in dark and dreary palaces compared to this one.

Inside are extravagant gold niello pieces made for royal events, with beetle wing embellishments, jewels, diamonds and more, incredible carvings and amazing embroideries in the most delicate colours, just extraordinary. Some pieces took well over two years to produce, involving over 100 artists. With most works commissioned for the "auspicious" 80th birthday/60th Anniversary of accession of the King.

No photos were allowed inside but we did snap a few of the lovely gardens as we walked to Vimanmek Mansion.

This is the outside of Vimanmek Mansion.

Vimanmek mansion is the world’s largest golden teakwood mansion with its elaborate architectural style reflecting a western influence.  The building has two right-angled wings, each wing is 60 meters length and 20 meters height, and is three-storey except for the part where HM King Rama V resided, which is octagonal and four-storey. Although the ground floor is brick and cement, the upper floors are built of beautiful golden teakwood.

Unfortunately again there was the no photographs inside rule so we can't share what we viewed.

Then we walked to Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple).

Often referred to as the “marble temple” in guidebooks, built in white marble imported from Mirina Di province Carrare in Italy, this temple is spectacular and the largest of many temples, an architectural gem features a magnificent Buddha image, which is a copy of the highly revered Phra Buddhajinaraja, and a beautiful beamed ceiling in a dark red and gold.

Inside, there is an impressive sitting Buddha statue. Interestingly, the windows are made of stained glass. In the temple yard, there is a collection of Buddhas in all their consecrated positions, and it is crossed by a lovely, shaded canal with many metal bridges to cross over to the garden and the monastery.

An image of the fasting Buddha.

Then it was on to the Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall, which is like a museum, however you are taken through the complex with guides, you don't wonder around on your own as you would in a museum.

Here was a display of the different buildings in a thai village starting in the birthing house on the front left, then the house on the back left was to do with the boys having the top knots cut off at 13 years of age, the back right was the wedding hut and the bottom right was the funeral hut.

This was a machine to crush,, minerals and plants to make medicinal powders.

Here are some of the masks used in the traditional dancers here in Thailand.

The view from the top floor of the exhibition centre, showing the Golden Mount we visited the other day.

No comments: