Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dusit Park

Dusit (Thai: ดุสิต) is a leafy, European-style area that is the political centre of Thailand. Its development dates back to the early 1900s, when King Rama V built the Dusit Palace, a complex of palaces and royal residences that he created.

King Rama V was the first Thai monarch to visit Europe. He was very impressed with what he had seen there, and came up with some ideas to make Bangkok ready for the 20th century. King Rama V started designing a completely new district from scratch that had to become the "new royal city", a district with grandeur, wide avenues and a leafy, European feel. The result of this process is Dusit.

  • Vimanmek Mansion (พระที่นั่งวิมานเมฆ), Touted as the world's largest golden teak building, this palace was the home of King Rama V in the early 20th century. It was originally a summer retreat on the island of Ko Si Chang, but has been transported to Bangkok in small parts in 1901. A guided tour is compulsory and tells you all about the life of King Rama V, and about his collection of fin de siecle royal memorabilia placed inside the building. As King Rama V tried to modernise Thailand along European lines, you can also see the first Thai indoor bathroom, the first typewriter with Thai characters and some of the first portrait paintings of Thailand.

Elder and Sister Moleff in front of Teak Vimanmek Mansion.  Cameras and cell phones were not allowed inside.  The architecture and history inside was amazing.

Sister and Elder Moleff Standing Outside of  Chinese Octagonal Dragon Pavilion
Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall

  • Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall (SUPPORT Museum). Built in the year 1904, this beautiful hall was formerly used for royal meetings and banquets. Its exterior is unique as it is clearly a mix of Victorian and Islamic influences. Home to the largest part of HM Queen Sirikit's SUPPORT Museum, it shows a collection of handicraft masterpieces created by skillful people from the countryside. Some of the items on show are handbags, baskets, pots, jewellery, figurines and silk, all created using traditional techniques. HM Queen Sirikit set up this foundation to preserve and revitalise these traditional Thai handicrafts and techniques, as demand for them has significantly lowered in modern Thai society.

  • Sister and Elder Moleff and Sister and Elder Ure
     standing in front of Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall 

    Exhibition of the SUPPORT Foundation's Thai Handicrafts

    When King Rama V moved his permanent residence from The Grand Palace to Vimanmek Mansion in the compound of Dusit Garden Palace in 1903, he commanded the construction of a Throne Hall which he named “Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall”.
    Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall, situated east of Vimanmek Mansion, is a one-storey hall built of brick and cement with a wooden coffered ceiling. The building embodies a harmonious eclectic architectural style beautifully decorated with patterned balustrades, wood fretwork and stained glass clerestory windows.
    Since the completion of its construction, Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall has been used as a meeting hall for high-ranking officials and as a banquet hall for the royal family and government officials at annual celebrations held at Dusit Garden Palace until 1932. When King Rama VII granted a constitution to the Thai people in 1932 and the construction of the Parliament began. Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall was thus used as offices of the Reception Unit of the Parliament Secretariat and the Constitution Judiciary.
    Later, in 1974, the Parliament returned the right of use of Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall and its surrounding compound to the Bureau of the Royal Household, which now acts as its caretaker.
    In 1992 His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej graciously gave permission for the renovation of Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall to make it a museum building for displays of art works and handicrafts of the SUPPORT Foundation of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit. On 20 January 1993 the King and the Queen presided over the opening ceremony of the SUPPORT Museum at Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall on the auspicious occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday’
    Art works and handicrafts displayed at the SUPPORT Museum are of exquisite beauty and great artistic value that have been produced by members of the SUPPORT Foundation who are basically farmers who do supplementary handiwork to augment their income. There are, for example, nielloware, silver and gold inlay work, jewelry made from the wings of the Buprestid (metallic green) beetle, Mudmee silk, Chok cloth, Lipau basketry, and leather and wood carving.
    Also, the Queen has graciously permitted the display of some of Her Majesty’s personal collection at the Museum.

    Sister Moleff and I have never before seen such exquisite handcraft work at was displayed  in the Throne Hall.

     Cameras and cell phones were checked outside the exhibit.

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