By Eric Lim
The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall is a majestic piece of Italian architecture located at the end of the Royal Plaza, 200 m behind the King Rama V Equestrian Monument.
The throne hall is a massive white structure, topped with a huge dome. The frontage of the throne hall is as wide as the ten-lane avenue leading up to it.
An elaborate wrought iron gate and fence surrounds the well-kept lawn and garden with its trimmed shrubs. Sprinklers keep the garden green and moist even in the sizzling April heat.
Built in 1907 by King Chulalongkorn, the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall was only completed in 1915, during the reign of King Vajiravudh or King Rama VI.
Designed by Italian architects and engineers and decorated by Italian artists, the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall covers an area of 5,600 sq m or about 1.4 acres!
The striking features of this architectural masterpiece by Mario Tamagno and Annibale Rigotti are the central dome with six smaller domes, reminiscent of historical buildings in Europe.
For more on the works of these two Italian masters, please see Italian architects in Bangkok.
The entrance to the throne hall has sculptures on a lintel over the archway and an ornate gate of gold leading to a grand foyer with marble walls and flooring with plush carpets.
The imported materials included Carrara marble, German copper, Milan granite and Viennese ceramics. Stairs wind up on either side of the foyer to the main throne room.
Feel the awe-inspiring experience of just standing in the main throne hall, with the throne and two multi-tiered royal umbrellas, under the huge 40 m high central dome.
Intricate murals of the first six kings of the Chakri dynasty are on the walls of the domes with scenes characterizing each king:
The inner hall behind the throne is cavernous with beautiful murals and sculptures.
Though the architecture and décor are distinctly Italian, the paintings are a blend of Thai and European scenes, the work of Italian masters Professor Galileo Chini and Carlo Riguli.
On leaving the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall down another stairway, the visitor ends up in a different room from the one he entered.
By then, he would have walked the entire length of the throne hall, a little over 100m! An impressive and memorable experience.
We regret to inform readers that with effect from 11 August 2017, the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall, Dusit Garden and all the royal residences within will no longer be open to the public.
Take a virtual tour through these pages instead.
Entry to the Ananda Samakhon Throne Hall is through the east gate of Dusit Garden. Admission fee is 50 baht.
The throne hall is opened every day except on Chulalongkorn Day (23 October) the King's birthday (05 December) and the Queen's birthday (12 August).
Please note that no photographs are allowed inside the throne hall.
To get to the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall, please see the Dusit Garden map.
To return to Dusit Garden.My Journey through Thailand Part I The First Steps
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