Monday, August 29, 2005

Mrigadayavan Palace


Built by King Rama VI in 1923 at Cha-Am, a village on the Bay of Siam some 200km south of Bangkok, this lovely old timber retreat formed the setting for a rather sad story.

This most ungrand palace is a complex network of open air timber pavilions connected by covered walkways of polished teak. All rooms and walkways are lifted 3 metres above the ground by a thousand poles, seeming to float in the air. Walls are largely absent altogether, or removable timber panels. Long elevated avenues lead to the sea. One pavilion contains a modest study, sitting room and bedroom for the king, the latter with an austere single bed. The central area contains unwalled dining rooms, one traditional Thai style with seating on the floor, the other a Western table setting. Beyond them are four pavilions for the king's four wives.

The king designed the palace himself, enlisting the help of Italian architect Ercole Manfredi for the final plans. He managed to spend two summers there, in 1924 and 1925, but after his death on Nov 25th 1925 aged just 45, of blood poisoning, the palace was abandoned by his successors. His fourth wife Queen Suwattana fell pregnant at the Mrigadayavan Palace and bore him a daughter, born just two hours after he died

King Rama VI
Thailand Guidebook
Police Go Thailand

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