The Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall
71 Uthong Nai Alley, Khwaeng Dusit, Khet Dusit, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon
The monumental marble building that is the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall, is counted among the most imposing and significant constructions in the Dusit Royal Palatial Complex, on a par with the Vimanmek Mansion. Erected in the early 20th century, it served as reception hall for international guests and was used for gala events over the course of several decades. Now throne hall’s luxurious interiors have been transformed into exhibition halls, where wonderful works of both decorative and applied arts by Thai artists are demonstrated.
In 1907, the King Rama V, who had just recently returned from his trip around Europe, decided to build a new hall for important appointments in the grounds of the Dusit Garden, intended as a replacement for the old facility. The king invited a team of Italian architects, engineers and artists to Bangkok in order to implement his idea. As a result of the eight-year-long construction process, an elegant building, the throne hall, was erected amidst the lush verdure of the royal gardens. It was designed in the Italian Renaissance style and garnished with neo-classical elements. The elegant structure with its round tower and 40-meter-high dome in the center is finished with Carrara marble, which is considered to be one of the most valuable construction materials. This central dome is surrounded by six smaller ones.
Looking inside Ananda Samakhom’s domes, we can see that its walls are adorned with exceptionally beautiful paintings, depicting the history of Chakri dynasty rule, as well as with magnificent sculptures, which were created by prominent Italian artists. A wide square, complete with a monument to the King Rama V on his horse towering in the center, is situated in front of the throne hall.
After the Siam Revolution of 1932, Thailand’s first parliament was located in the throne hall’s building. Today, its premises are used as a house for a range of ever changing exhibitions, on which works of the decorative and applied arts from Thai artists, as well as luxury items are shown. These include models of ships, copies of temples and royal barges; made of gold and silver plates, ivory and teak wood, with precious stones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, for which the kingdom is famous.