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borom phiman mansion

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Published November 22, 2021

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The Phra Thinang Boromphiman (พระที่นั่งบรมพิมาน; RTGSPhra Thi Nang Boromma Phiman) is the largest structure within the Siwalai Garden; it is located at the northernmost end.[102][103] The two-storey Neo-Renaissance residence was constructed during the reign of King Rama V from 1897 to 1903. The new palace was built over the site of an old armoury, after King Rama V had it demolished. The new palace was intended as a gift to the first Crown Prince of Siam, Prince Maha Vajirunhis. It was originally named Phra Thinang Phanumart Chamroon (พระที่นั่งภานุมาศจำรูญ). However, before the construction was finished the prince died of typhoid at the age of 16. Once completed the palace was handed to the next heir, Crown Prince Maha Vajiravudh, who ascended the throne in 1910 as Rama VI. He later gave the palace its present name.[104][105]

Under the supervision of foreign architects, namely the German C. Sandreczki, the Boromphiman Throne Hall became the most modern building within the Grand Palace; it was also the first to be designed to accommodate carriages and motorcars.[106] The exterior walls are embellished with pilasters and elaborate plaster designs. The triangular and semi-circular pediments are decorated with stuccoed floral motifs. The palace’s distinctive Mansard roof is covered in dark grey slate tiles. On the façade of the building, the main and central pediment show the emblem of the crown prince.[105][107]

Even though the architectural style and exterior decoration of the building is entirely Western, the interior decorations is entirely Thai.[102] The central hall, situated under a dome, is decorated with murals of the god IndraVarunaAgni and Yama—all depicted in Thai style. Below them are Thai inscriptions composed by King Rama VI himself.[105][108]

After his accession to the throne, King Rama VI occasionally stayed at the palace. King Rama VII stayed at the palace for a few nights before his coronation in 1925, while King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII) made the palace his main place of residence upon his return to Thailand from Switzerland in December 1945. He lived in this palace with his younger brother Prince Bhumibol Adulyadej (later King Rama IX) and his mother Princess Sri Sangwan. On the morning of 9 June 1946 the palace bore witness to his mysterious and unexplained death by gunshot.[102][109] King Rama IX later refurbished the palace and added an extra wing extending south.[100][105]

Currently the palace is not open to the public, and serves as the official guest house for visiting Heads of State and their entourage.[103][107][110] To the southeast of the Boromphiman Throne Hall, there are also two guest houses for use by the entourage of state visitors.[105]

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