Buddhaisawan Chapel

Buddhaisawan Chapel

The National Museum, located in the former vice king’s palace, was established in 1874. It exhibits Thai art and history. The dioramas in the Thai History Gallery dramatically portray different aspects of Thai history. The elephant battle with Khun Sam Chon, for example, showcases the different weapons at each warrior’s disposal atop an elephant. The Long Song and Samranmukkhamat Pavilions are colorful. Like buildings in Beijing’s Forbidden City, the roofs of the different National Museum buildings are elaborate. We admired the “Vishnu Holding Weapon” sculpture outside the Buddhaisawan Chapel. The walls of the Chapel have murals which depict scenes from the life of the Buddha. The Phra Buddhasihing, a Buddha image, is the central focus of this royal chapel. Although we didn’t visit either of the buildings dedicated to a history of Thai art, we did take in the decorative arts. An exhibit of Thai games includes several chess sets. Puppets form an important element in Thai theatre history. Climbing steep steps was worth it to see the carved ivory collection. We saw exhibits of ceramics and textiles, fans and bookcases. Royal transportation ranging from carriages to huge gold covered chariots was especially impressive. A special exhibit recognizes her royal highness Maha Chakri Sindhorn’s contributions to the conservation of Thai cultural heritage. Our visit to the National Museum was a good introduction to Thai history and culture.

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