Phetchaburi Travel Guide :
Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park
| Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park is a well-known landmark in Phetchaburi city. Locally it is known as Khao Wong or Palace Hill and it is located a 92-meter high hill in the city of Phetchaburi.
The main building in the park was built under the orders of King Rama IV and in 1860, it became the king's summer residence. The entire compound of Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park is dotted with royal halls, palaces, temple and other buildings. All these are constructed in a balanced blend of Thai architecture, neo-classical architecture and Chinese architecture.
On the western side of the compound, there are a group of royal residences which consist of the following building Phetchphoomphairot, Pramotmahaisawan, Wetchayanwichienprasat, Ratchathammasapha buildings and the Hor Chatchawanwiengchai Observatory. The main original residences were the Phetchphoomphairot and Pramotmahaisawan buildings. However, today these buildings are used as museums to showcase the royal belongings of King Rama IV and King Rama V. You can also see decorative sculptures and ceramic items from China, Japan and Europe.
On the very peak of the hill there stands a big white pagoda named Phrathat Jomphet. This pagoda was renovated under the orders of King Rama IV and then a Buddha image was enshrined in it. The pagoda offers a panoramic view of the city and other building located on the nearby mountain tops.
On the eastern mountain there are many temples worth visiting. One of the temples that you should visit is Wat Maha Samanaram. This temple dates back to the Ayutthaya period and has murals painted by a renowned Thai artist named Khrua In Khong. Another temple located on the top of the mountain is Wat Phra Kaew Noi, which was constructed based on the Phra Nakhon Khiri located in the compound of Grand Palace in Bangkok.
The two most popular sites in Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park are the ordination hall and the Phra Sutthasela Chedi. The ordination hall is noted for the stucco on the gables and the hall design, which is based on the royal emblem of King Rama IV. Phra Sutthasela Chedi is built from greenish gray marble. The uniqueness of this temple is that the marble was first sculptured to form a pagoda in a different place. The place where the sculpturing took place is Ko Srichang, an island close to Pattaya on the eastern coast of Gulf of Thailand. The marble was then dismantled, brought to Phetchaburi and reassembled.