Built between 1897 and 1901 by King Chulalongkon, the Dusit Palace ("Celestrial Dwelling") is a huge compound of 13 different royal residences encompassing 696,950 square feet. The official royal residence, The Grand Palace, became too crowded and stifling in the summer heat, so the king got the idea to build a new royal residence with spacious gardens on the outskirts of the capital. The different residence halls and gardens were allocated to the various consorts and children of the King. As with all Thai royal palaces, the Dusit Palace was divided into three areas; the outer, middle, and inner courts, separated by canals and gardens rather than walls. In 1932 the absolute monarchy was abolished and part of the Dusit Palace was reduced in size and transferred to the constitutional government. Currently, the various buildings house several museums and exhibitions.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.