Saranrom Palace

Bangkok, Thailand | C.1866

Photo Credit: Diana Saavedra

A testament to the history and evolution of Thailand, Saranrom Palace lies in the heart of the historic Phra Nakhon district, near some of Bangkok’s most visited attractions.

Designed by Henry Alabaster, a British-born diplomat and advisor to King Rama IV, the palace was to be the King’s residence after he abdicated the throne, but he died before completion. His successor gave the palace over to his younger brothers, and the Princes used it as a temporary residence but eventually abandoned it.

An impending visit from Sweden’s Prince Oscar prompted King Rama V to spruce up the neglected palace. The Prince wrote favorably about his accommodations, and the palace would host many foreign dignitaries thereafter.

Opened to the public in 1960, the park around the palace originally held Rama V’s rare plant collection and personal zoo. It also contains a monument to one of his favorite wives who, while pregnant and with her young daughter, all died in a boating accident. At the time, commoners were forbidden to touch royalty, therefore the Queen’s attendants were unable to save her from drowning.

Extensive renovations in the early 2000s gave the palace its recognizable orange facade. It has been the seat of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1932.

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