Right opposite the northeastern corner of the Grand Palace complex finds the sacred Bangkok City Pillar Shrine. According to the ancient Siamese (Thai) belief, a city pillar needs to be installed upon the establishment of a new city to symbolize the stability of power. King Rama I of the current Chakri Dynasty erected the first city pillar on Sunday, April 21, 1782 at 6.54 am, when he moved the capital city across Chao Phraya River from Thonburi to Bangkok. The pillar was made of cassia wood (known as Chaiyapruek in Thai) gilded with gold leaves, measuring 29 cm in diameter and 187 inches in height. Inside the city pillar there’s a space to store Bangkok’s horoscope. The City Pillar Shrine then was the very first building King Rama I had built for Bangkok, prior to the Grand Palace.
During the reign of King Rama IV (King Mongkut), he demanded a raise of the new city pillar to replace the old one, which was dilapidated. The new city pillar was made of teak and cassia woods gilded with gold leaves, measuring 70 inches in diameter and 107 inches in height. Both pillars are now sheltered in prang-shaped shrine, which was built at the same time with the second city pillar, together with sacred images of five protective deities (Theparak): Phra Suea Muang, Phra Song Muang, Chao Por Hor Klong, Chao Por Chetakhupt and Phra Karn Chai Si. The City Pillar Shrine had been later renovated to maintain its condition for a few times; the latest time was in 1982 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Bangkok.
Opening hours: Daily from 07.00-18.00 hrs.