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.