Category: Monuments

Democracy Monument

This characteristic landmark has immense historical significance. In 2475 BE (1932 AD), Thai people’s quest for a constitution of their own finally succeeded, initiating one of the most important sociopolitical changes in Thai history. The system of absolute monarchy that dominated the country for hundreds of years was abolished; democracy took over in the form of constitutional monarchy, with the king as head of state.

The Democracy Monument in the heart of Ratchadamnoen Avenue was erected to commemorate this important event. Every part of the structure was designed with symbolism in mind: The 75 cannons surrounding the structure signify the year (in Buddhist Era), while the 3m-high bronze central tray carrying the replica of the Constitution refers to the third lunar month in which the change took place (June). The four set of wings are exactly 25 m tall, same as the radius length of the base circle; these signify the day of the event (25th of the month). The bases of the four sets of wings are decorated with bas relief sculptures depicting people and events that brought democracy to the Land of Smiles. Finally, the six ritual daggers at the gateways symbolize the six principles: independence, freedom, equality, internal peace, economy and education.

The monument was designed by Corrado Feroci, a sculptor born in Italy but moved to Thailand by the royal invitation of King Rama VI. The famous artist changed his name to Silpha Bhisari (Thai literature tends to remember him solely by this name). He founded the first Institute of Fine Arts and created many of the famous monuments dotting Bangkok’s skyline today.

Giant Swing

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The Giant Swing is located in front of Wat Suthat Thepwararam on Bamrung Mueang Road, Phra Nakhon District. This religious structure of Bangkok was originally constructed in 1784 and was proclaimed as the national historical site since 1949. With 21-metre height, painted in red color and the unique structure of wooden pillars it has become one of the symbols of Bangkok.

History has it that in 1784 after the King Rama I had completed the settlement of Bangkok, he ordered the construction of Brahmin church and the Giant Swing on Bamrung Mueang Road, on the way to Dinso Road. Then, during the reign of King Rama V, it was relocated to
Bamrung Mueang Road at its present location. There have been two major renovations of the Giant Swing. In 1920 during the reign of King Rama VI, Louis T. Leonowens, the wood trader donated teakwood of reconstruction of new Giant Swing. Then, in 1970, there was another renovation but the architectural style remained the same. The last reconstruction took place
in 2006 using the golden teakwood from Phrae Province.

In the past, the Giant Swing was used in the Tri-Yampawai, the Brahmin religious ceremony. The rite was performed as to pay homage to Shiva God as to commemorate the God’s annual visit to the earth. The ceremony was finally cancelled in 1935 during the reign of King Rama VII.

King Rama I the Great Memorial

Built in commemoration of Bangkoks 150th anniversary celebrations in 1932, the monument is situated at the foot of Pathom Boromrachanuson or Rama I the Great Memorial Bridge on the Bangkok side. King Rama I was the first king in the Royal House of Chakri and founder of Bangkok as the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, as Thailand was formerly known. He was born in Ayutthaya, one of Thailand’s former capitals, on 20 March, 1736, accessed to the throne on 6 April, 1782, and passed away 27 years later.

King Rama III Memorial

The monument was built by the Fine Arts Department in 1990 near the Royal Reception Pavilion in front of Wat Ratchanatdaram on Ratchadamnoen Road. The bronze statue, half larger than life size, is seated on a throne. The surrounding area is decorated with beautiful plants, with the Royal Reception Pavilion and three minor pavilions known as Sala Rai nearby.

King Rama V Statue

Established in 1908 in the reign of King Rama V with a fund raised by the Thai people, the statue was cast in Paris by a French craftsman. The remaining fund was spent by King Rama VI on the establishment of Chulalongkorn University, which was named after King Rama V.

King Rama VI Statue

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Located in front of Lumphini Park, the statue was sculpted by Professor Corado Feroci, or Silpa Bhirasri as he was called by his Thai name, who gave it a final touch on 7 June, 1941. It was open on 27 March, 1942.

King Taksin the Great Monument

This is an equestrian statue situated at Wongwian Yai Circle on Prachathipok Road. The king is portrayed with his right hand holding a sword, measuring approximately 9 metres in height from his horse’s feet to the spire of his hat. The statue rests on a reinforced concrete pedestal of 8.90 x 1.80 x 3.90 metres. There are four frames of stucco relief on the two sides of the pedestal. The opening ceremony of this monument was held on 17 April, 1954 and a homage-paying fair takes place annually on 28 December.

Monument to the Expeditionary Force

Near a northern corner of Sanam Luang stands a monument to the Thai expeditionary force that fought in the European battlefield during World War I. After war broke out in 1914, Thailand joined the Allied Army to declare war on Germany and sent militia to Europe on 20 June, 1918. Upon their return to Thailand on 21 September, 1919, the ashes of dead veterans were taken to be enshrined here on 24 September, 1919.

National Memorial

It is located on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road slightly beyond Bangkok International Airport. Covering an area of 38 rai, the National Memorial is under the responsibility of the Armed Force Education Department, Supreme Command Headquarters. There are wall paintings depicting historic events in Thai history from the Sukhothai period to Rattanakosin period, replicas of royal decorations, bas-reliefs of the establishment of the city and models recounting historic battles in Thai history.

Open: Mon. – Fri. from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Admission: Free
Tel: 0 2532 1021

A speaker is available for a group visit but advance contact in writing is required.

Victory Monument

The monument is situated on Phahonyothin Road. It was constructed in 1941 under the premiership of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkhram in order to praise the heroic deeds of soldiers, policemen and civilians who sacrificed their lives in a dispute between Thailand and France on the demarcation between Thailand and other Indochinese nations. The dispute ended with a compromise being agreed by the two parties, and 59 casualties. Victory Monument was, therefore, established as a memorial to their bravery.

Now the area around the monument is also a major traffic center, with a roundabout and six majors roads coming into it.. Thankfully, the BTS Skytrain also stops here, alleviating some traffic jams.