Thai dusit history



The Dusit Palace, Heaven on Earth


It's like a dream! Walking in the beauty of western architecture with the green of natural surroundings and the brightness of the blue sky can put anybody under a spell. It is "The Dusit Palace" which was built by King Rama IV. Historically, in 1897, after his majesty returned from Europe, he bought the land that extended from Padung-Krung Kasem canal and Sarmsen canal. He began building this majestic palace at his own leisure in 1899.

King Rama IV picture

King Rama IV

At first, it was used as a temporary place after his work, but later it was used as a permanent place he lived. The north end of the area is Sukhothai road, the east meets Rama IV road, the south extends to Sri-Ayuyyhaya road, and the west reaches Sarmsen road. There are two sections of this great palace. First one is his majesty's own residence. The other one is the princes' residence and the household guard regiment.

The Dusit palace comprises of several throne halls (Phra Thinang). The first one, built in 1900, is Phra Thinang Wimanmek, which was used as his majesty's own residence. It is recognized to be the largest teakwood building in the world. It is a three-story Victorian architecture with "ginger bread" perforating decoration, the most popular style in that era. There are 72 rooms classified by color into 5 groups. They are peach, light blue, pink, green and ivory. The wood used in the construction came from Phra Thinang Muntard Rataanaroj, Juthatucha Rajsatarn Palace in See Chung Island. The next Phra Thinang, built in 1902, was Phra Thinang Umpornstarn. It is the only throne room that is still in its original settings. Phra Thinang Apisek Dusit, a one story Phra Thinang, which has the same architecture as Phrea Thinang Wimanmek, was built in 1907 and used in several ceremonies. One of the most important rooms is Phra Thinang Anantasamakom. It was built in 1907 with iron-concrete structure and covered with marble for the whole building. Before its construction finished, King Rama V died. Then, King Rama VI completed the construction. It was used as Thai's parliament. Also it was a significant historic building because the constitution to the country was granted here in the reign of King Rama VII on December 10, 1932.

In addition to the Phra Thinang and buildings, there are traditional Thai houses called "Reaun Ton". These modest houses were used as guesthouses for the friends of King Rama V whom he met when he traveled incognito. Also, in between buildings there are several gardens decorated in different themes, such as, four-season garden, etc. Chitralada Villa was also built for vacation.

As time goes by, the Dusit Palace has become government offices. Phra Thinang Wimanmek, Phra Thinang Apisek Dusit and several other buildings have become museums open to the public. Chitralada Villa and Phra Thinang Ampormstarn are now used as the royal residence. Phra Thinang Anantasamakom is now used for important ceremonies. No matter what changes were made, the Dusit palace is still gracefully beautiful!