The Grand Palace in Bangkok is one of the Thai capital's most majestic sights. Constructed in 1782 it functioned for 150 years as the residence of the King of Thailand and the location of the Royal Court as well as the seat of administrative government.
At one time the compound also housed the state departments, War Ministry and the national mint. Even today, the splendid complex is regarded as the Thai Kingdom's spiritual heart.
The elaborate design and magnificent architecture of the complex, considered to be a proud reflection of the craftsmanship and creativity of the Thais, never fail to captivate viewers. The architectural style is reminiscent of the palace buildings of Ayutthaya, the splendid capital of Siam which was destroyed by the Burmese.
Near the entrance the visitor will encounter the Outer Court which formerly housed the various government departments. In one corner of this court the traveller will see the revered Temple of the Emerald Buddha, which contains the small but greatly venerated Emerald Buddha crafted in the 14th century. The King of Thailand undertakes the important ritual of changing the Buddha figure's robes in harmony with the seasons.
Nowadays the magnificent interiors of the Grand Palace are used for significant ceremonial events such as coronations. You may be intrigued by the expansive royal reception halls with interesting features such as the antique throne, the former throne of the Thai monarchs. Another highlight is the museum which displays numerous Buddha images and scale models.