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The Golden Buddha.

The Golden Buddha, officially titled Phra Phuttha Maha Suwan Patimakon, is the world's biggest solid gold statue.. It is located in the temple of Wat Traimit.  In the early 1930s, reconstruction works in the banks of the Chao Phraya river near Chinatown, required the destruction of an old abandoned temple that housed a stucco-painted gold statue of Buddha. Despite the fact that the statue was not so attractive, its destruction was not an option. Thus it was decided to move it to Wat Traimit, a pagoda of minor relevance (like hundreds of other Buddhist temples that exist in Bangkok), keeping the statue in Chinatown. The temple didn't have a building big enough to house the statue, so it was kept for 20 years under a simple tin roof.

In 1955 a new building was built and the monks decided to install the statue inside it. A crane was supposed to move the statue carefully, but a cable broke and the statue fell in the mud, an event that was seen as a bad omen by the workers, who ran away from the place, leaving the statue on the soil. It was the rainy season and, as for confirming the bad omen, a terrible storm came and it lasted the whole night, flooding the whole city.

At the dawn of the next day, the abbot of the temple came to evaluate the damage and started removing the mud. He observed that the wet plaster was cracked and under it was a statue made of solid gold.

It is thought that the statue came from Ayutthaya and it was disguised under plaster to hide it from the Burmese, who were besieging the city. After being moved to Bangkok, its true composition was forgotten for almost 200 years.

The statue is 3 metres high and weights 5.5 tonnes. It is made in the Sukhothai Dynasty style, and is thought to have been made during the Sukhothai  period in the 13th century.













The Grand Palace

For just about 150 years, Bangkok's Grand Palace was not only the home of the King and his court, but also the entire administrative seat of government. Within the crenelated walls were the country's war ministry, state departments, and even the mint. Thai Kings stopped living in the palace full time around the turn of the twentieth century, but the complex remains the seat of power and spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom.


The palace complex, like the rest of Ratanakosin Island, is laid out following the general outline of Ayutthaya palaces. The Outer Court,  near where you enter the complex today, housed the government departments in which the king was directly involved, such as civil administration, including the army, and the treasury. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha takes up one corner of the complex next to the Outer Court.



In the middle is the Central Court, where the residence of the king and the halls for conducting state business were located. You are allowed to look at the fronts of the buildings in the Central Court, but only two of the throne halls are open to the public, and only on weekdays.


Behind the central court was the Inner Court. This was where the king's royal consorts and daughters lived. The Inner Court was like a small city entirely populated by women and boys under the age of puberty.  Even though no royalty currently reside in the Inner Court, it is still completely closed off to the public.











































































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