In a previous posting, we indicated that many of the Bangkok attractions are rather large complexes. Perhaps one of the largest is the Grand Palace, consisting of the royal residence, throne halls, government offices, and the renowned Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Created in 1782 on the orders of King Rama I, this complex covers an area of 218,000 square meters ( or 654,000 square feet) and is protected by four perimeter walls. The previous royal residential complex was located on the western side of the Chao Phraya River. Once King Rama I ascended the throne, he decided that his residence was unsuitable and ordered that the new complex be constructed on the eastern side of the river. This compound became known as the Grand Palace. It is as beautiful as it is massive. One could easily get lost roaming the grounds without the aide of a map.
While this is a beautiful Buddha statue, it is not the famous Emerald Buddha because photographs of the latter were prohibited. The building housing the Emerald Buddha is just north of the royal residence. It is one of the most venerated sites in Thailand. Carved from a block of green jade, it was first discovered in 1434 and was covered with plaster...an abbot noticed that the plaster on the nose was flaking off and the the green stone was revealed.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.