The Grand Palace is a complex of buildings practically at the centre of Bangkok . The palace is the official residence first for the Kings of Siam since 1782. Here were based the king, the court and the royal government until 1925. King Bhumibol Adulyadej or as it is more popular Rama IX, resided at the Chitralada Royal Villa and his successor King Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) at the Amphorn Sathan Residential Hall, both in the Dusit Palace, but the Grand Palace is still used for official events. Several royal ceremonies and state functions are held within the walls of the palace every year.
Building of the palace started on 6 May 1782, at the order of King Phutthayotfa Chulalok or as a well known to almost everyone Rama I, the founder of the Chakri Dynasty, when he moved the capital city from Thonburi to Bangkok. Throughout successive reigns, many new buildings and structures were added, especially during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (Rama V). By 1925, the king, the Royal Family and the government were no longer permanently settled at the palace, and had moved to other residences. After the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1932, all government agencies completely moved out of the palace.
In shape, the palace complex is roughly rectangular and has a combined area of 218,400 square metres (2,351,000 sq ft), surrounded by four walls. It is situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River at the heart of the Rattanakosin Island, today in the Phra Nakhon District.
History Desperate for materials and short on funds, the palace was initially built entirely out of wood. On 10 June 1782, the king ceremonially crossed the river from Thonburi to take permanent residence in the new palace. Three days later on 13 June, the king held an abbreviated coronation ceremony, thus becoming the first monarch of the new Rattanakosin Kingdom.
To find more material for these constructions, King Rama I ordered his men to go upstream to the old capital city of Ayutthaya, which was destroyed in 1767 during a war between Burma and Siam. They dismantled structures and removed as many bricks as they could find, while not removing any from the temples. The bricks were ferried down the Chao Phraya by barges, where they were eventually incorporated into the walls of Bangkok and the Grand Palace itself.
Today the Grand Palace is still a centre of ceremony and of the monarchy, and serves as a museum and tourist attraction as well