Phetchaburi Travel Guide :
Phra Nakhon Khiri Royal Palace
| Phra Nakhon Khiri Royal Palace is located on Khao Khlang Mountain, which is 312 feet above sea level. It was built by King Rama IV in 1860 and the palace has a European neo-classical style of architecture. The architect of the palace was Thuam Bunnak, who later on became the Minister of Defence.
Thuam Bunnak toured Europe extensively where he became familiar with European architecture. In fact, King Rama IV, also known as King Mongkut, lived the European way of life and was the first Thai monarch to learn a European language.
Phra Nakhon Khiri Royal Palace is like no other building in Thailand. When you see the palace you get a feel of the cosmopolitan way of life that exudes from the palace building. The royal palace is built on a hill and there are two possible ways to get to it. The first is a road that crosses the hill in the north and brings the visitors to the palace ground. In order to reach the palace grounds, the visitors have to take a flight of stairs which are bordered by Nagas. The other route is via a small railway, which operates only during the opening hours of the palace. On the way to the palace, you can see the ruins of a fort, which has now been colonized by monkeys, and the building used by the royals guards.
Visitors can visit Phra Nakhon Khiri Royal Palace if the members of the royal family are not in residence. From the huge terraces, you can admire the fantastic view of the town and valley. Other attractions include the royal observatory with its glass roof and splendid embellishments; Phra Thinang Witchien Prasat a magnificent example of Thai architecture. The roof of the temple are four small but elaborately decorated towers surrounding the prang. Then there is Wat Phra Kaeo which resembles the temple of the same name in the Grand Palace in Bangkok. The temple has a crystal image of Lord Buddha in the ordination hall. Phra Thinang Phetphum Phairot is the largest building in the site and was constructed in 1859 in the neo-classical style of architecture. Earlier it was used as an audience chamber but now it is used as a residence for state guests.