We continued our stroll passed the Grand Palace and took a few more pictures, as the light was really nice. It was nice and quiet, there were not many people and cars on the street. We just strolled around, enjoying the warm weather and easy afternoon.
Next to the Grand Palace, on Sanam Luang junction, is an interesting monument with pink elephants. It was built to celebrate King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 84th birthday on Dec 5, 2011.
In the background you can already see the the Bangkok City Pillar Shrine, also called Lak Mueang. The city foundation pillar was raised on April 1782 when King Rama I established Bangkok as the capital of Thailand. In accordance with Thai custom, the city pillar was raised and blessed before construction on the Grand Palace, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha and the rest of the city commenced.
The original site of the city pillar was at the southwestern corner of Sanam Luang. However, rumor has it that on the day the pillar was raised, four snakes crawled under the shrine and were killed. This was interpreted as an ominous sign that Bangkok would not last long as capital – so the city pillar was just rebuilt in the southeastern corner of Sanam Luang, across the road from the Grand Palace, where it remains to this day.
In 1982, the shrine building was rebuilt to celebrate the 200th aniversary of Bangkok City. Next to the city pillar, there is a shrine for the city guardian gods who protect the city from bad things.
- The City Shrine is open from 5.30am to 7.30pm and admission is free of charge
- It is in walking distance to the Grand Palace Complex
- Many Thai people believe that visiting the City Pillar shrine can bring good luck and discard bad luck