Imagine a small, walled city which combines the functions of Buckingham Palace, Washington, DC, and the Vatican. Now superimpose on this picture the incredibly ornate, colorful, and whimsical art and architecture of Thai Buddhism. This is the Grand Palace of Bangkok.
From 1782 until 1946 The Grand Palace was the home of the Royal Family, the seat of government, and the most important Buddhist Temple in Thailand. Today it’s still an important pilgrimage site for Buddhists, as well as sun-burned tourists from all over the world. I can’t speak for the religious pilgrims, but I imagine that no tourist comes away disappointed.
The grounds are a fabulous collection of highly decorated holy buildings, monuments, throne rooms, reception halls, stupas, and residences. The entire place glitters with complex combinations of colorful mirrored structures, and just when you think you’ve seen the most ornate, around the corner is another surprise.
Mythical beasts line staircases …
… support stupas …
… and guard building entrances.
It’s a photographer’s dream come true, and you may not have seen the last of the Palace.