Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaeo ( Thai: วัด พระ แก้ว ), literally Temple of the Emerald Buddha, Wat Phra Sri Rattana official name Satsadaram, is the temple of the king in the old Royal Palace in Bangkok.

The main ingredients

The buildings south of the Upper Terrace

  • The Chapel of the Emerald Buddha ( Thai: Phra ubosot ) - here is the main attraction, which houses the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha is seated on a gilded throne, which was made already during the reign of King Phra Phutthayotfa Chulaloke ( Rama I ). King Phra Nang Klao (Rama III. ) Added under the throne an even an extra base so that the Emerald Buddha now perched in the lofty heights of 11 meters.
  • It is surrounded by ten Crowned Buddha statues in the hand posture " the ocean sojourning ." They were the first dedicated members of the Chakri dynasty to third reign.
  • Before the Emerald Buddha is Phra Samphuttha Phanni ( พระ สัมพุทธ พรรณี ), a Buddha statue in an unusual style, which had been created (later Rama IV ) on behalf of Prince Mongkut when he was abbot at Wat Bowonniwet. You should accommodate an astrological calculation and a relic of the Buddha.
  • The throne is flanked by two approximately 3 meters large standing Buddha images. They were of King Phra Nang Klao (Rama III. ) Created in 1841 and dedicated to the first two kings of the Chakri Dynasty. They also have the hand posture " the ocean sojourning " ( in Thai: Ham Samut ), they are gilded and decorated with precious stones. The figure, which is north of the Emerald Buddha, was named Phra Phuttha Yotfa Chulaloke ( " the Buddha, who is above the heavens and the crown of the world " ), the southern Phra Phuttha Loetla Naphalai ( " the Buddha, the best is the earth and in the sky appears "). The king issued then that his grandfather by now should bear the official name of the northern statue ( King Rama I ), and his father ( King Rama II ) the name of the southern character.
  • The walls are covered from floor to ceiling with excellent murals depicting scenes from the life of Buddha. On the east wall is shown, the temptation of the Buddha, for example, and how he drowned with the help of the earth goddess Mae Thorani the demons in magical waters. The west wall shows the Buddhist world view, the " Three Worlds " ( Traiphum ), with Mount Meru at the center.
  • The tall doors with precious mother of pearl inlays were also prepared in the reign of Phra Phutthayotfa Chulaloke ( Rama I ) in a style that was common in the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya.
  • The six entrances to ubosot are guarded by six pairs of bronze lion in the " Khmer Bayon style ". The first pair was brought at the behest of King Phra Phutthayotfa Chulaloke of Angkor ( Cambodia) to Bangkok, the others were copied from this template.

The Upper Terrace with 4 main monuments

  • Phra Sri Rattana Chedi - The Golden Chedi is a reliquary, they shall contain a fragment from the breastbone of the Buddha. It was created following the example of the three chedi of Wat Phra Si Sanphet in Ayutthaya.
  • Phra Mondop ( repository for Palm holy scriptures ). Originally, there was at this point a Hor Trai (library building) in the Ayutthaya style, which was to protect against ants in a small pond. Even during the reign of King Phra Phutthayotfa Chulaloke this building was replaced by the present Mondop.
  • Prasart Phra Thepbidorn - Royal Pantheon with life-size statues of the former ruler of the Chakri Dynasty.
  • Miniature model of Angkor Wat, commissioned by King Mongkut, but only completed the 100 - year celebration in 1882.
  • Two gold chedi flank the eastern staircase to the terrace. They were built by King Phra Phutthayotfa Chulaloke ( Rama I ) in honor of his father and his mother. For the 100 - year celebration in 1882, the caryatids have been added ( see photo). Although the have the appearance of demons, but carry a Thai crown. They are modeled after characters from the Ramakien drama.
  • Was also the 100th anniversary celebration King Chulalongkorn ( Rama V ) fourteen statues of mythological beings after models from the time of King Phra Nang Klao (Rama III. ) Pour ( see photo). These beings populate according to ancient belief the Himaphan Forest ( "Snow Forest "), which is located on the slopes of the mythological Mount Meru, the center of the world (see links below). In addition to these gilded figures are still many other replicas of mythical creatures to be found on the grounds of the temple.

Thumbnail of Angkor Wat on the Upper Terrace

Caryatid on the Gold Chedi

Gilded statues of mythological beings of Himaphan forest on the Upper Terrace

  • On the four sides of the library are four monuments of the royal insignia ( Phra Borom Ratchasanyarak ) containing symbols of the kings of the Chakri Dynasty. The first three monuments were given in 1883 by order of King Chulalongkorn ( Rama V ) to the first centenary of Bangkok. The fourth in the northeast of the library was built by order of HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to the 200th anniversary of Bangkok. The monuments stand on a rectangular marble base, on the sides of inscriptions recall the respective kings. Only two monuments include the symbols for a single king ( in the southeast of Mongkut, in the southwest of King Chulalongkorn ), in the other are the symbols of various kings at the various sites to see. Around the monuments are numerous bronze sculptures of elephants, representing the white elephant of the Thai kings.

Monument to King Mongkut (Rama IV )

Monument to King Prajadhipok (Rama VII )

Monument to King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX ).

Annex ( north below the upper terrace)

  • Hor Phra Nak today is the mausoleum of the royal family. It was originally built to house the Phra Nak, a Buddha statue, which could be rescued from the ancient capital of Ayutthaya. Nak is the Thai name for an alloy of gold and copper.
  • Viharn Yod - in this viharn today houses the Phra Nak.

East of the Upper Terrace

  • King Phra Phutthayotfa Chulaloke ( Rama I ) was east of ubosot build eight Prang. They were each given an important element of Buddhism. And ( from north to south ): the Buddha, the Dhamma ( Buddhist teachings ), Sangha ( the community of monks ), the bhikkhunis ( Buddhist nuns ), the Pacceka Buddhas ( Buddhas, although they gained enlightenment, the but not the Dhamma preached - see Theravada ), the Chakravartins ( universal ruler of the world who rule according to Buddhist rules ), the Bodhisattva, and Maitreya Buddha ( Thai: Metteya, the future Buddha).

The Phra Rabieng

  • The galleries ( Phra Rabieng ) surrounded like a cloister, the entire temple area. On the walls of the Ramakien is shown, the great Hindu epic about the hero Rama God and his victory over evil. The story is told in a total of 178 fields in numerous solo episodes. The edited by King Chulalongkorn to this epic poems are written on marble tablets, which were embedded in the pillar against the respective images. Although the murals have been restored already four times (most recently in 1982), they are still an example of classical Thai painting. Warning: the story begins not about at the entrance, where the tourists enter the temple, but next to the north entrance, opposite the Viharn Yot.


As Chao Phraya Chakri, the future king Phutthayotfa Chulaloke ( Rama I ) wanted to move the new Siamese capital for strategic reasons on the eastern side of the Chao Phraya River, for more than 100 years, there was already the temple of Wat Potharam (now Wat Phra Jetuphon, Wat Pho ) and north of Wat Salak (now Wat Mahathat ). The terrain in between was very swampy and had to be drained first. The inhabitants, a settlement of Chinese merchants were "asked" to move their businesses into the so-called " gardens " in front of the city ( today's " Sampheng ").

On Sunday, the tenth day of the waxing moon in the year of the tiger, in the fourth year of the decade Chunlasakarat 1144, ie in the year 2325 Buddhist era, in the morning at 6:54 clock was a ceremony of " foundation stone " (set the city pillar, on Thai: Lak Mueang, opposite the Grand Palace ) is performed. After the founding of the Grand Palace King Phutthayotfa Chulaloke was officially crowned in a royal ceremony on June 10, 2325 to the king. ( Quote from a memorial stone in front of the Government in Bangkok).

King Phutthayotfa Chulaloke built in the eastern part of the new palace a new temple for the Emerald Buddha. He called this temple " Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram ", in German as " The Temple of the Sacred Jewel ( of God) Indra " by the locals it is now called shortly " Wat Phra Kaeo ", or " Temple of the Emerald Buddha". In a solemn ceremony of the Emerald Buddha was brought on 22 March 1784 by Thonburi in his new temple, where it can be admired today.