' DID YOU KNOW '?

The Founding of Bangkok

Did you know; that following the 1767 destruction of Ayutthaya, after 400 years of rule from there, the Thai capital was moved first to Thonburi on the west bank of the Lower Chao Phraya River and then,  in 1782,  to a small trading port on the opposite side of the bank called Bangkok by King Rama I, who decreed the move, and felt the position of the new capital was more defensible and that it offered the space for a capital worthy of the Chakri Dynasty,  which he had founded. 

He gave it a lengthy official title, which the Thais have shortened to Krung Thep, "City of Angels,"  while foreigners continue to use the old name; the period of   Thai history thus inaugurated is called Rattanakosin.  As a matter of interested Krung Thep is adapted from its actual name;

(listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's longest place name): Krungthep Mahanakhon Bovorn Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokpop Noparatratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniveymahasathan Amornpiman Avatansathit Sakkathattiya- avisnukarmprasit. Krungthep Mahanakhon Bovorn Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokpop Noparatratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniveymahasathan Amornpiman Avatansathit Sakkathattiya- avisnukarmprasit.

Rattanakosin Island; The Grand Palace and its adjacent royal chapel, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha - both replicas of Ayutthayian structures - were built first on an artificial island created by digging a canal where the river curved sharply, a strategy that had been used at Ayutthaya, before the city was expanded. 

Walled and fortified, the island  was the political and cultural heart of the capital for more than a century.  A group of Chinese traders who had occupied the site were moved outside the walls, where they formed the nucleus of a flourishing community of narrow streets, wharfs and ware- houses that still exist.

  By the  mid 19th century Bangkok had a population of  300'000 and was well on its way to becoming the major metropolis of today.

Copyright 1998 USMTA Inc.   All rights reserved. Revised: October 16, 2004.