Mrigadayavan Palace | Bangkok Post: Travel

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Mrigadayavan Palace

Admission free

Address:1281, Phet Kasem Rd., Cha-am, Cha-am, Phetchaburi 76120 Thailand

Tel:+6655005111

Service day:Everyday, Service hours: 08:30-16:30

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Official description

Mrigadayavan Palace is located on Bang Kra beach between Cha-am and Hua hin. The construction of this beautiful beachfront palace was completed in 1924; this summer palace was built by King Rama VI as a summer getaway. The palace area consists of 16 buildings of golden teak, in Thai-Victorian style, all connected by elevated airy walkways designed to catch the breezes from all directions from the coastal waters.

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Learning local history

A historical centre mirrors the history and stories of the forgotten palace, Wang Chan, and its royal dwellers in Phitsanulok

Visitors look at a model of Wang Chan and nearby temples. Pichaya Svasti

Located in Muang district, Phitsanulok province, almost 400km from Bangkok, the Chan Palace History Centre is south of the archaeological site Chan Palace -- the royal residence for several kings and princes of Ayutthaya, including King Naresuan the Great. As part of the conservation and development of the Chan Palace Project, it exhibits background stories of Phitsanulok and Chan Palace.

The centre shows several permanent and temporary exhibitions, including Phitsanulok: Historic City on the Nan River Room, the Nine Centuries of Historical Records of Phitsanulok Room, the Royal Chan Palace: Art and Art Works of Phitsanulok Room, and King Naresuan the Great: From A Little Prince of Chan Palace to Thailand's Greatest Warrior Room.

The first zone displays the pictures, maps, models and information of Phitsanulok province, its geography and topography.

Phitsanulok was called Muang Saluang Song Khwae from the beginning of the Sukhothai Period because of its location between the Nan and Khwae Noi rivers. It was renamed Muang Chainat during the Ayutthaya Period. After King Borommatrailokanat gave his crown to his son and moved to this city, he changed its name to Muang Phitsanulok, meaning the abode of god Narai or Vishnu.

The second zone tells the stories of Phitsanulok during the past 900 years starting from the origin of Song Khwae City up to present by comparing to major incidents in world history. It quotes King Rama VII's speech, delivered during his visit to Phitsanulok in 1926, as saying that Phisanulok is where the Tai race settled in the ancient times and has been one of the oldest capitals in the Kingdom of Siam.

The third zone of the centre room features the stories of this city's artistic masterpieces, including the Phra Buddha Chinarat statue, and a miniature of the Phra Attharot statue, which was relocated to Bangkok, and several local temples. The exhibition also shows the models of three temples on the Chan Palace archaeological site.

Wat Wihan Thong, south of the palace, could have been part of the palace in accordance with the royal tradition to build a temple within palace grounds. Wat Wihan Thong, on the southeast, and Wat Pho Thong are the rest. Viewers can use multimedia and a periscope to view Chan Palace, or Wang Chan.

Wang Chan is mentioned in a number of historical documents. It was named Wang Chan probably because it was made of sandalwood (mai chan in Thai). It must have been a model for the Chandra Kasem Palace in Ayutthaya due to some similarities.

King Naresuan the Great: From A Little Prince of Chan Palace to Thailand's Greatest Warrior Room. Pichaya Svasti

Excavation on the forgotten palace on a former school site began in 2002. Data from an archaeological survey conducted earlier were found to match with a map of the province produced in 1901 by Prince Naris, a son of King Rama IV who was a great artist, and pointed to the area as the site of the former palace. Artefacts found at the palace site include fragments of pottery and roof tiles from kilns in nearby Si Satchanalai, Suphan Buri and Sing Buri, as well as porcelains from China's Ming, Qing and Yuan dynasties, Japan (17th century) and Vietnam (14th-15th century) due to the use of land over time.

Although there is historical evidence elsewhere noting that Phaya Lithai, a king of Sukhothai Kingdom (1347-68), stayed in Phitsanulok for seven years, nothing from the Wang Chan site indicates the relation between this king and Wang Chang. Instead, it is believed that King Chao Sam Phraya of Ayutthaya (1424-48) built this palace. King Chao Sam Phraya was born to a Sukhothai princess and married to a daughter of a Sukhothai ruler. He later sent his son Phra Ramesuan to rule Phitsanulok.

Later, when Phra Ramesuan ascended to the throne of Ayutthaya and took on the title of Somdet Phra Boromma Trailokanat, he returned to live in Phitsanulok -- altogether for 25 years to guard the northern part of the kingdom against the forces of King Tilokkarat of the Lanna empire. During this time Chan Palace might have been expanded and improved to resemble the royal palace of Ayutthaya. After his reign, Phitsanulok was run by viceroys sent there from Ayutthaya.

The palace was believed to have been renovated when Somdet Phra Maha Thammarachathirat ruled Phitsanulok as viceroy of Ayutthaya. His sons King Naresuan and King Ekathotsarot, both of whom later became kings of Ayutthaya Kingdom, were born and grew up at Chan Palace.

After the first fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese in 1569, King Naresuan was taken to Myanmar as a hostage. He later returned to rule Phitsanulok and declared Ayutthaya's independence from the Burmese. After the reign of King Naresuan (1590-1605), there is no record of viceroys from Ayutthaya making Chan Palace their residence on a long-term basis.During the Thon Buri period (1767-1782), Phitsanulok was a battlefield most of the time, including during the war between King Taksin the Great and Chao Phra Fang rebels and the Siamese-Burmese war in 1775, archaeologist Thada Sangthong wrote in her article titled Chan PalaceArchaeological Excavations in 2003). In 1775, Phitsanulok was burned down and its people fled. Since then Chan Palace has remained neglected.

The centre's last room displays incidents related to the heroic deeds of King Naresuan and the reproductions of his well-known hat, sword, scythe and harquebus used during his battles to reflect his bravery and greatness at war. The highlight is a statue of the king, surrounded by exhibitions on major wars he fought.

In all, the Chan Palace History Centre is aimed at promoting studies of the history of Phitsanulok, honouring King Naresuan and supporting local tourism.


 

The centre is open during 9am-4pm. Admission is free. Call 055-005-111.

A miniature model of Phra Attharot is on view in the Nine Centuries of Historical Records of Phitsanulok Room. Pichaya Svasti

Some artefacts excavated from Wang Chan are shown at the centre. Pichaya Svasti

 

Location

1281, Phet Kasem Rd., Cha-am, Cha-am, Phetchaburi 76120 Thailand

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