Photo: The palace complex includes ruins plus the Somdet Phra Narai National Museum.

Phra Narai Ratchaniwet Palace

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In the 1660s, King Narai of Ayutthaya hired French and Italian architects to collaborate with Thai artists on a new palace, briefly turning Lopburi into the kingdom’s second capital. Today the Phra Narai Ratchaniwet Palace complex includes several ruins along with a section that was rebuilt in the 1850s and now houses the exceptional Somdet Phra Narai National Museum.

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An eastern gate through the imposing white-plaster walls that surround the square-shaped complex brings visitors to a large lawn with several brick-and-mortar ruins to the south, including the remains of an elephant stable and reception hall. Large enough for an elephant, two gates lead from here to the inner palace, which houses the museum.

Striking difference between old and (relatively) new. Photo taken in or around Phra Narai Ratchaniwet Palace , Lopburi, Thailand by David Luekens.

Striking difference between old and (relatively) new. Photo: David Luekens

Standing largely untouched since the days of King Narai, Dusitsawan Thanya Mahaprasat is a large throne hall where the king received foreign dignitaries. Blending Thai, Chinese and European designs, its walls are still mostly in tact but the roof is long gone. In the corner stands a small statue of King Narai, who died in a nearby ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 400 words.)

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