Rattanakosin Island

Rattanakosin ( Thai รัตนโกสินทร์, " Indra's most valuable jewel / Emerald " ) is called the foundation area of ​​the new Siamese capital in 1782 on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River, the historic center of today's city of Bangkok. It is also called " Rattanakosin Island".

King Rama I and the Rattanakosin Island

The riverbed of the Chao Phraya River as it flows through Bangkok today in the middle, was largely determined in the reign of King Chairacha of Ayutthaya ( 1534-1546 ). The left namely a Khlong (canal) dug to shorten the drive from the Gulf of Thailand to the capital Ayutthaya by numerous river bends. The original course of the river one can imagine today, when west of the present main stream looks at the run Khlong Bangkok Yai and the Khlong Bangkok Noi.

French engineers built in 1675 forts on both sides of the river, but they had in the wake of the fall of King Narai ( " Siamese Revolution") in 1688 to withdraw from it again. Remains of the fort on the Thonburi side can still be seen today at the mouth of Khlong Bangkok Yai. Where the fort stood on the eastern bank, King Phra Phutthayotfa Chulaloke ( Rama I ) founded the new capital of the Siamese empire.

About the foundation in 1782, tells the inscription on a monument in front of the present-day municipality of Bangkok:

"As Phrabat Somdet Phra Phra was Phutthayotfa Chulaloke Maharat [ King Rama I ] made ​​king, he decided to found a new capital on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River, as offered here, better ways of defense, as on the western Thonburi page. He commissioned Phaya Thanmatikon and Phaya Wichitnawi to coordinate the construction work. On Sunday, the tenth day of the waxing moon in the year of the tiger, in the fourth year of the decade Chulasakarat 1144, ie in the year 2325 Buddhist era, in the morning at 6:54 clock was a ceremony of, foundation stone ' [Set of city pillar, Thai Lak Mueang ] performed.

After the founding of the Grand Palace Rama I was officially crowned in a royal ceremony on June 10, 2325 to the king. This was three days celebrated extensively. During the ceremony, the capital was baptized solemnly by Phra Maha Mani Rattana Phuttha Patimongkon by the king in the name of Krung Rattanakosin In Ayothaya -.

Later kings changed the name several times, until finally the, Krung Rattanakosin ' and given its present name, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthrayutthaya Maha Dilokphop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udom Ratchaniwet Maha Sathan Amon Piman Awathan Sathit Sakkhathattiya Witsanukam Prasit ' "

Motives for the transfer of the capital were probably strategic, practical as well as symbolic. With its location on the eastern side of the river the seat of government should be less susceptible to attacks by the Burmese out of the West. The wooden palace in Thonburi Taksin was also on a relatively narrow strip between two temples, which prevented further expansion. For the new plant in a different location like the founder of the new dynasty but also the factor have spoken to rid itself of the stigma of a usurper.

The eastern bank of the river was originally very swampy, so that it had to be drained first. Since the time of King Taksin, a narrow channel, the Khlong Lot ( " straw - channel " ) was dug. Where the new palace was planned already lived a community of wealthy Chinese merchants, which the already present there Wat Potharam (now Wat Phra Chetuphon, in short: Wat Pho ) probably supported. This had to relocate their businesses now, in the "Gardens ", a then uninhabited area outside the city, which is known as Sampheng today that Bangkok's " Chinatown " along Thanon Yaowarat district in Samphanthawong. Then the first building of the new palace were built. Later came a high brick wall to that shielded the area of 250 hectares today to the outside.

As a model for the new palace was destroyed palace of Ayutthaya. The palace was planned so that the king had never left him. If he wanted to show the people, he entered a specially built to balcony, still be seen as part of the east wall. The palace contained an interior area, the Wang Nai. Here was the private residence of the king, his flower gardens and villas of the Queen and the Chao Chom ( concubines of the king) with their children and female staff. The inner portion fascinated as the "City of Women" ausländlische visitors until the early 20th century. In the exterior area, there was the real center of power of the Siamese kingdom. Here lived and lived the Prime Minister with his secretaries, here there was the High Court, the royal council, the royal guards, even the Royal Artillery had their headquarters here. For the royal temple to house the Emerald Buddha, a separate division was created.

The capital role of the centers of power in continental Southeast Asia precolonial times was often declared religious- mythological. Your Location is predetermined by the gods, saints, or by a footprint of the Buddha. Such legends, there was also the founding of Ayutthaya. In order to inherit the religious legitimacy, power, and the glory of Ayutthaya, the new capital had a "new Ayutthaya ", be a faithful copy as possible of the old capital. Since Ayutthaya was surrounded on all sides by water, the king here in the east of the city dig another channel, so that the capital was apparently also on an island of Rattanakosin Island. This exterior moat or Khlong Rop Krung (literally " channel, which surrounds the whole city ") was excavated in 1783 from 5,000 Laotian prisoners of war as a defensive ditch and edged with a thick, crenellated brick wall. (Remains of this wall can be seen today in Banglamphu still on Phra Sumen Fort, opposite the Wat Bowonniwet. )

Many of the bricks that were used to build the wall and the forts were brought down the river from the destroyed Ayutthaya on barges. The trench was dug far enough to be able to offer the people in Ayutthaya so popular boat races here can. As a further measure of defense of the north-east location of the Rattanakosin Island was left as marshland. Here fruit trees were planted later, and only King Chulalongkorn was built here and the wide boulevards, the Ratchadamnoen ( " where the king takes a stroll " ) were called and which still connects the Grand Palace with the planned as a garden city Dusit Palace.

North of the Great Palace was the Sanam Luang (Royal Square). Here the royal cremations took place, it was the site of the annual ceremonies, such as the " first plowing ", a Brahmin ceremony to assure the people a good harvest.

The viceroy had his own palace built, the so-called " Front Palace " (Wang Na), which is located north of the existing also establishing time Wat Mahathat. He received a private temple building, the Wat Phra Buddha Buddhaisawan with the Sihing, a bronze statue of Buddha from the Sukhothai period. Today in Wang Na is the National Museum, home to the renowned Thammasat University in the southern part.

King Rama I also sat for his capital adequately repaired many temples and founded new ones. Already at the beginning of his reign he decreed that the sacred images of the Buddha were brought to Bangkok from the devastated capital to provide them here is a worthy environment. According to ancient chronicles Rama I. can create more than 1,250 statues destroyed or dilapidated temples throughout the country to Bangkok and distribution to various temple of his capital. Potharam Wat, the ancient temple of the borders to the south of his palace, was renovated and enlarged in order to revive the former glory of Ayutthaya again. The renovation was carried out by 20,000 workers in 12 years, then he got the present name Wat Phra Chetuphon, but with tourists it is still known under its old name as Wat Pho.

As a religious and geographical center of his capital, King Rama I build a great new temple. The entire assembly should " be performed systematically, neat and carefully so that this temple is the graceful highlight of the whole country " is. The foundation stone of the new temple on Monday was the first in February 1807 on the site, which was next to the Sao Ching Cha ( " Giant Swing " ), which also served a Brahmin ceremony. The main Buddha statue should be an old statue that was originally located in Sukhothai in the abandoned Wat Mahathat. She was brought to the capital by boat and was ordained in 1808 in the new temple. Then the temple was named Wat Suthat Thepwararam. This name refers to the divine city of God Indra in Tavatimsa sky on the top of Mount Meru. The king died in 1809, without witness the completion of the temple.

Period of history and art style

Derived from the island of Rattanakosin City or the historical era of Siam / Thailand is under the Chakri Dynasty from 1782 to today (or sometimes only until the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932 ) called the Rattanakosin period. Likewise, the art style of art works created since the founding of Bangkok in 1782, Rattanakosin style is called. In the Rattanakosin Museum the history of Bangkok and Thailand since 1782, the development of culture and society is represented at this time.