Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Grand Palace & Wat Phra Kaeo

Our first stop was Wat Phra Kaeo, Thailands most holiest temple where the Emerald Buddha, which is in fact carved from jade, is housed. The Emerald Buddha was discovered in a stupa in Chiang Rai in 1434. It was finally moved to Thailand in 1778 and when Bangkok was was built the Emerald Buddha took pride of place in the Royal Monastery which also serves as the King's Private Chapel and Ordination Hall.

It is a stunning complex, a golden chedi dominates the Upper Terrace but other twinkling jewel, glass, mirror and ceramic encrusted exteriors more than hold their own.

The adjoining Grand Palace complex was established in 1782 consists of a royal residence and throne halls as well as government offices, a Beauty Salon and a very welcome Cafe. What an introduction to Thai culture, amazing.


PMM&L said...

Crikey - that must take some maintaining!! lol

axx said...

Yes, for sure and it was beautifully maintained. Lots of ongoing restoration in various places.