Discovery >

European Heritage On Display In Thailand

May 13, 2016 by Khiri Travel | Filed Under: , , , ,

Thailand probably has the most to offer for visitors interested in European heritage in Southeast Asia. One can admire a host of structures in Bangkok clearly showing different European styles such as Italian, Belgian, German, British, French, Danish, Portuguese, Polish and Dutch. Back when Thailand was known as Siam, King Rama V, known as Chulalongkorn (1868-1910) invited a number of European architects and designers to Siam. Also the first Thai king to travel abroad to forge ties with European royalty, Chulalongkorn gained an appreciation for western architectural styles and building materials.

Hualamphong - Bangkok - Architecture - Thailand

Bangkok would probably look very different had it not been for the interest Rama V showed in European architecture. A good example is Bangkok’s main train station: Hualamphong, built in 1916 in an Italian Neo-Renaissance style by Italian architects Tamagno and Ricotti with a decorated wooden roof and stained glass windows. Tamagno was also responsible for the design of Thonburi’s Santa Cruz Church, also built in 1916 on the Chao Phraya riverside.

Hok Bridge - traditional Dutch - Bangkok - King Rama V - Dusit

In addition to buildings, other structures influenced by European style include the Hok Bridge, inspired by a traditional Dutch lift bridge, and the bronze equestrian statue of King Rama V in Bangkok’s Dusit area, which was cast in Paris by a French sculptor in 1908.

Phrae - Architecture - Thailand

A very different European influence can be seen up North in the former teak capital of Phrae. In 1883, Britain won logging concession rights in Thailand’s northern provinces and Phrae became a business center for a handful of British timber firms. The wood logging companies have long gone, but some of their original teak houses remain. Built in Britain at the turn of the 20th century, the homes featured a popular style called “gingerbread” characterized by highly decorative woodwork trim on the roof eaves and windowsills. Unfortunately more than one hundred teak houses have been demolished in Phrae over the past two decades, but the few remaining ones are well maintained or in process of being renovated and definitely worth a visit.

There is plenty to admire when it comes to European style heritage in Thailand! For more information about European heritage as part of a tour to Bangkok, Phuket or other charming places in Thailand, please leave your contact information in the form below.

 

Latest post

Explore the Stung Treng Countryside by Bicycle

Take the road less traveled literally. Stung Treng or “River of Reeds” is one of Cambodia’s most unknown destinations. This northwestern region, located close to where the Sekong and Mekong rivers meet,

Read More

Khiri Travel Open for Business in Bali

Khiri Travel Indonesia, in addition to Lombok, Yogyakarta and Flores, has now opened a branch office in Bali, a world-renowned tropical island

Read More

Walking Tour of Mountain Panoramas in Lombok

In the mountain village of Senaru on Lombok Island there is a CBT project that benefits female tour guides who lead a walking tour of the panoramic vistas of volcanoes, rice terraces and waterfalls with visits to see the authentic Sasak

Read More

Local Color in Traditional Cambodian Transport

Like many parts of Asia, Cambodia offers a cornucopia of colorful transport options that are often the best way to see the local side of life – from tuk tuks to cyclos and nori trains, or the slow and steady rotei.

Read More

Sign Up for Our Newletter