November 1, 2011

0025 THAILAND (Bangkok) - A Westerner with Thai hat

I was talking here about the Grand Palace of Bangkok. I come back now with several details. A few days ago I received a postcard with one of the buildings that are part of mentioned complex, namely Mahaprasad Chakri Hall (a building in a style influenced by the Italian Renaissance). In many countries of the world would be an architectural masterpiece in its own right

Work of the architect John Clunich and completed in 1882, the building would have an entirely western look if it be fully complied King’s Rama V wish. But others in the court argued that the king's residence and throne hall should reflect Siamese motifs. Maybe they were right. Thus the original roof was replaced by a Thai styled one, what has made to say about it that would be aWesterner with Thai hat”

The base of the building houses the royal guards and a collection of ancient weapons is displayed in the arcades along the building's front. This display is open to the public on weekdays only, because, as Natchaon said, the king still use the palace sometimes.

As can be seen in the picture, the building has two wings, used even today. Both are for reception purposes and are decorated with galleries of portraiture. In between is the central throne-hall, decorated with four canvasses of diplomatic receptions, which reflects, I think, the importance that Siam gave to the relations with Western Europe:

- Queen Victoria’s reception of King Mongkut's ambassador in London
- Louis XIV's reception of the mission sent by King Narai of Ayutthaya in the Galleries des Glaces in the Palace of Versailles (the splendor of the mission deeply impressed the Sun King’s court, of those times European standard in this sight)
- King Mongkut's reception of the French Envoy
- the reception at Fontainebleau by the Emperor Napoleon III of another Siamese Mission

The postcard don’t have stamps, because it’s a postage-prepaid one, with the stamp printed on the back.

Sender: Natchaon Chucherdsak (direct swap)
sent from Bangkok (Thailand), on 13.10.2011

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