The Grand Palace in Bangkok, contrary to popular belief, it is not a single building but a complex of buildings that are the official residence since the year 1782 of the Kings of Siam and Thailand. The present king also known as Rama the IX is King Bhumibol Adulyadej. He doesn’t reside at the Grand Palace but still uses it for official events.
The Grand Palace construction was ordered by the Rama I king in 1782 and throughout the years more structures and buildings were added. The King Rama I wanted to build a capital city and he decided to move from Thonburi to the west side of the river and east from Bangkok. This was the permanent residence of the Kings until 1925 when the Royal Family and the government moved to other residences and with the abolition of absolute monarchy in 1932 more government officials moved away from the palace, allowing it to be just an important tourist landmark only used for official purposes.
The Grand Palace is a huge complex, measuring around 218,400 square meters; it also has four walls that surround it and it is situated near the Chao Phraya River on the Rattanakosin Island. Due to the fact that it’s huge it has been divided into a few quarters: The Outer Court where many public buildings are located, the Temple of the Elerald Buddha; the Middle Court which includes the Phra Maha Monthien Buildings along with the Phra Maha Prasat Buildings, the Chakri Maha Prasat Buildings; and the Inner Court with the Siwalai Gardens quarter. Due to the fact that it has been opened as a museum it does have a few limitations as there are still some offices situated inside. Initially, the palace was built only of wood, as there was a shortness of funds and need of more materials. However, over the years, the King, who resided here, replaced a lot of the wooden structures with masonry. He rebuilt the forts, gates, walls and all the other royal residences in the court and also erected the beautiful Royal Chapel. In order to find materials for its construction he ordered his men to go to the capital city of Ayutthaya and get as many bricks as they could. The city was already destroyed but the King prohibited his men to remove any of the bricks from the temples. The Grand Palace was soon constructed with a better and firmer structure.