Rare Victorian - Victorian Architecture In … Thailand
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Victorian Architecture In … Thailand

gothic trefoil thai bangkok Victorian Architecture In ... Thailand

I’m currently on vacation in Phuket, Thailand but I stopped with my wife in Bangkok on the way and did a tour of the Royal Palace and clicked a few photos of Victorian-inspired architecture on the property – which I didn’t expect to see.  Notice the brackets under the eaves and the gothic trefoil trim around the edge.

gothic trefoil thai bangkok Victorian Architecture In ... Thailand

I wish I could tell you which building this was below but it was fenced off so it must be a building actually in use for official purposes since they kept the public away from it.  Notice the Second Empire mansard design for the roof as well as the roof cresting.

thai bangkok mansard victorian Victorian Architecture In ... Thailand
Not what you would expect in an area characterized by the architecture below:

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  • Paul Tucker - November 2, 2008

    I was curious about how the Victorian architecture wound up in Thailand and with a quick internet search learned that The King and I’s British governess Anna Leonowens was likely the influence. Thailand was once called Siam and Anna was a British educator who had started a school in India. King Rama IV hired her to teach his wives and children. Anna taught there for six years and one of Rama IV’s sons became his successor Rama V. Rama V westernized many aspects of Siam’s government and all of the official buildings built during his reighn have at least a European Victorian flavor. The following is an excerpt from the website of the Thai government:

    During the reign of King Rama V, the country was adjusting to modernization in all aspects. This change is clearly seen in architecture. The people’s lodgings, the government agency offices, and the palaces changed to Western buildings in colonial style. Almost all palaces built in this period had a Western look; however, many Thai characteristics were preserved. The Western style was mixed the Thai architecture in order to fit in with the environment. An example of Western architecture that mixed well with Thai architecture is the Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall. This three-storey building is Victorian style architecture whereas the roof is Thai architecture. At present, this throne hall is used for the King to receive the credentials of the foreign diplomatic corps. Borombhiman Mansion was built as the residence of King Rama VI when he was the Royal Crown Prince. This throne hall is in a neoclassic style from the Renaissance; nowadays, it is used as the reception hall for visitors who are leaders of their country.

    Vimanmek Mansion is regarded as the most beautiful golden teak building in the world. This palace is a three-storey building in the Victorian style and is decorated with fretwork in a gingerbread style. The building emphasizes the airy and open atmosphere, and the glass around the building makes it look cool, comfortable, and suitable for a tropical climate. When it was built, King Rama V stayed there.

    It is amazing the influence one person can make.

    Paul

  • RareVictorian - November 4, 2008

    Thanks for the info, Paul. As a result, I can point to Boromphiman Mansion as being picture #2 and Chakri Maha Prasat Thone Hall (part of it) as being picture #3

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