Photo: East meets West.

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Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall

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No single building in Bangkok displays the extravagance of Siamese royalty during the early 20th century stronger than Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall.

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Update: Anananta Samakhon Throne Hall will close for restoration on 1 October 2017, and a reopen date has not yet been released.

Commissioned by King Rama V in 1907 and completed eight years later during the reign of King Rama VI, the dramatic edifice was crafted from Italian marble and other pricey foreign materials in the Italian Renaissance and Neo-Classic styles. It’s now one of two major drawcards, the other being Vimanmek Mansion, found in Dusit Park.

Nothing else quite like it in Thailand. Photo taken in or around Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall, Bangkok, Thailand by David Luekens.

Nothing else quite like it in Thailand. Photo: David Luekens

From outside, the hall could pass as the capital building of a European nation with its dozens of pillars supporting a broad central dome and marble statues of children with Caucasian features dotting the rooftops. But instead of hosting a room for parliament, the whole structure revolved around a throne for a king who held absolute power in Siam.

The impressive scale and richness of the hall may make it seem like Rama V was a narcissist, but it did have strategic value. This king spent his entire reign walking a tightrope of diplomacy to keep Siam independent from the colonial powers pressing in on either side of his kingdom—Britain to the west and France in the east. Constructing great halls fit for European royalty helped to show the colonialists that Siam was not a backwater kingdom, but a modern and innovative nation that deserved to preserve its ... Travelfish members only (Around 700 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall is located in the Dusit area, more than three kilometres north of Khao San Road. City buses 5, 18, 56, 70, 72, 503 and 515 all pass within walking distance of the entrance, which is just east of the hall off Soi Uthong Nai near Dusit Zoo. Otherwise the closest public transport option is the Phadung Krung Kasem canal boat that stops at Government House Pier, less than a kilometre south of the hall. Thewet Pier off the Chao Phraya river ferry orange flag line is 1.5 km to the east, and Victory Monument BTS Station is two km to the west.

Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall
Sri Ayutthaya Rd
Tu–Su: 10:00–16:00
T: (02) 283 9411, (02) 283 9185 
Admission: 150 baht

Location map for Ananta Samakhon Throne Hall

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