Published On: Sun, Jul 22nd, 2018

Sight-seeing in Bangkok – Lesser Known Sites

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The striking red and gold temples that catch the sun and dazzle the eye in Bangkok are Buddhist, but there are Christian churches, Indian temples and Chinese and Japanese temples dotted about Krung Thep, the “City of Angels” – or Bangkok as it is known today.

Sight-seeing in Bangkok - Lesser Known Sites

Three Non-Buddhist Religious Houses in Bangkok

Santa Cruz Church, 112, Tesaban Line 1 Road, Bangkok

One of the oldest buildings in Bangkok and one best seen from the Chao Phraya River, this Catholic Church was erected during the time of the Burmese occupation of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. King Taksin Maharaj bestowed the land for the building of a church to the Portuguese who remained in Bangkok when most other Europeans returned to their home countries. The first church was built out of wood but the current one was rebuilt in the style of a Chinese Monastery.

Assumption Cathedral, 23 Oriental Alley, Bangkok

Built in Romanesque style between 1910 and 1918, Assumption Cathedral replaced an earlier church on the same site dating back to 1822. In 1942, during World War II, the cathedral was severely damaged by bombing and required extensive restoration. It was further improved in the 1980’s and 1990’s during which time the plain glass in the windows was replaced by stained glass.

Brahman Chapel-Temple, 268 Dinsor Road, Bangkok

This temple housed the Hindu Gods during the reign of King Rama I. The church is used as the residence for the Brahams and to conduct various ceremonies.

Other Important Buildings in Bangkok

Ananta Samakom Throne Hall, U-Thong Nai Road, Dusit District, Bangkok

The Palace is built in Renaissance style and was designed by an Italian architect. This building has considerable importance for the Thai people, connected as it is to the Constitution which was handed to the people by King Rama Vll at this Throne Hall. It is also where the first annual meeting of the common parliament was held.

Vimanmek Mansion, 16 Rajaviti Road, Dusit District, Bangkok

Also known as the Teak Palace, this elaborate building of golden teak was constructed by King Rama V. Inside the mansion can be seen many of the personal possessions of HRH Rampaipanee, wife of King Rama Vll. The surrounding gardens, which were once orchards and paddy fields, are very beautiful.

The Royal Barges Museum, 80 Arune-Amarin Road, Bangkok Noi

These ornately decorated boats bear little resemblance to the barges that ply for trade along the Chao Phraya River. With magnificently carved prows and painted all over in gold, these barges are today used only on state functions and for royal ceremonies. Anyone who has a chance to see these boats parading along the river, should avail themselves of the opportunity. The cavalcade is massive and consists of a formation of five rows of barges in accordance to the “Pichai Songkram” book.

About the Author

- Paul Linus is an eminent online journalist who has been writing news, features and editorials on different websites from across the world for about a decade. He can be contacted at knowledgeherald@gmail.com

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