Vimanmek Teak Mansion

vimanmek

An outstanding example of 19th century architecture. While admiring the craftsmanship of the carpenters, you will travel back through time to gain a rare insight into the lifestyle of royalty.

Vimanmek Mansion, the principal building in the palace compound, was built for King Rama V on land he named The Dusit Garden located between Padung Krungkasem and Samsen canals. The completion was celebrated on March 27, 1901 and King RamaV took up residence until 1906. The mansion was originally his Summer Palace, the Munthaturaltanaroj Residence, on Sri Chang Island. It was dismantled and re-built at the present location under the supervision of HRH Prince Narissaranuwaddhiwongse.

The three-storey Vimanmek Mansion is the largest golden teak building in the world, built in an architectural style that reflects European influences. There are two right-angled wings, each 60 metres long and 20 metres high. The section where The King resided is octagonal and has four storeys. The mansion has 81 rooms, halls and ante-chambers.

Following King Rama V moving to Amporn Satarn Mansion in 1906,  Vimanmek Mansion was un-occupied until 1925 when King Rama VI gave permission for his wife, HRH Indharasaksaji to take up residence there. She stayed there until his death.

For the next 50 years it was used as just a storage area for the Bureau of the Royal Household until 1982 when HRH Queen Sirikit initiated its restoration as a museum to commemorate King Rama V.

Today, there are 31 exhibition rooms. Exhibits include a silverware room, ceramic display room, glassware and ivory display. Some of the rooms have been preserved to retain the atmosphere of the earlier era, particularly the bedrooms, bathrooms and the Audience Chamber. Other buildings in the compound also house displays of various artifacts and precious art objects.

THINGS TO SEE:

  • Classical Thai dancing: 10:30-14:00 daily
  • Porcelain: During King Chulalongkorn’s reign, Thailand was significantly influenced by Western culture. Porcelain that had been imported from China since the Ayutthaya period was replaced by European-style porcelain. King Rama V, an avid collector of porcelain, owned a lot of the items that are on display here.
  • Gold- and silverware: When King Rama V visited Europe to promote international relations, he brought back with him pieces of fine gold-enamel work, especially some pieces from the legendary Peter Carl Faberge, the famous goldsmith at the Russian court.
  • Glassware: This became popular during the reign of King Rama V. In Europe in the late 19th century glassware design developed in the Art Nouveau style. Art Nouveau glass was very popular with Thai aristocrats who used it for decorating Buddha altars.
  • Antique photographs and household items

THINGS TO KNOW:

Address: 16 Ratchawithi Road (within the Dusit Palace compound)

Tel: 0 2628 6300-9
Fax: 0 2281 6880

To get there :

Bus Routes 18, 28, 108, 510, 515

Open: 9:30 am – 3:15 pm daily

Admission: 100 baht for adults, 50 baht for children. Free with purchase of Grand Palace ticket.

Website : www.palaces.thai.net

Free English tours are available daily.

Dress code must be observed. No sandals and sleeveless shirts.

Misc .:

No photohraphy is allowed inside the buildings.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS:

1. Amphorn Garden
2. Amphornsathan Palace
3. Anantasamakom Throne Hall
4. Chang-ton Museum
5. Chitralada Palace
6. Dusit Zoo
7. Parliament House
8. Statue of King Rama V