construction of monuments in the form of statues or symbolic
figures in memory of important persons or historical incidents
is actually not a Thai tradition. It came to Thailand only
recently during the reign of King Rama V when the country
began to open to western influences.
Equestrian Statue of King Rama V, situated in front of Dusit
Palace, was the first statue erected to a Thai king. The statue
was built to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the coronation
of King Rama V. Thai people at that time made contributions
totaling a million baht for this statue, out of their love
for the great king. The bronze statue was cast in Paris during
King Rama V's second visit to Europe in 1907, and finished
the following year. It was the only statue produced during
the King's reign.
King passed away on October 23, 1910, two years after the
statue was erected. After his death, people continued to gather
at the statue to pay homage to the revered monarch. Ceremonies
to pay respect to the beloved king are still held each year
on October 23.
from the statue of King Rama V, monuments have been raised
to the other kings of the Chakri Dynasty and monarchs from
previous eras that are thought to have contributed greatly
to the country. The sites where the statues of the kings are
located are all relevant to the work of each particular king.
statue of King Vajiravudh (King Rama VI) is located at Lumpini
Park because he established the park during his reign. The
statue of King Rama I is located at the Memorial Bridge on
the Chao Phraya River. The king was the founding monarch of
the Chakri Dynasty, who established Bangkok as the capital
city of Siam on the bank of the Chao Phraya.
is also an Equestrian Statue of King Taksin situated in Thonburi,
on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. King Taksin was
the great warrior who defeated the Burmese after the fall
of Ayutthaya, and founded the Thonburi period. Although this
period lasted for only 15 years, King Taksin was considered
a great king who helped the Thai kingdom rise from the ashes
of the Burmese occupation. Every year on December 28, the
anniversary of King Taksin's coronation day, Thai people pay
homage to this king.
from the statues of the great kings and important leaders
in Thai history, monuments have been raised to commemorate
important historical events. In Bangkok, the two most significant
memorials are the Democracy Monument and the Victory Monument.
Democracy Monument, located in a traffic roundabout on Ratchadamnoen
Avenue, symbolizes the most important change in the Thai political
system, from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy
that took place on 24 June 1932. The foundation stone of the
monument was laid on June 24, 1939 and the monument was completed
the next year. So far, it is the most outstanding and biggest
monument in Bangkok.
Victory Monument, also located within a traffic circle, was
built to honor 59 officers, policemen, government officials
and plain civilians who sacrificed their lives during the
conflict between Thailand and French Indochina in January
monument is decorated with five statues representing the Army,
Navy, Air Force, Police and Civilian war heroes whose names
are engraved on a bronze plate attached to the monument. Today,
people tend to think of the Victory Monument as an area notorious
for traffic congestion and as a hub for connecting buses to
the outlying areas of Bangkok.
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