Democracy Monument

The Democracy Monument was started in 1939 to commemorate the 1932 revolution that ended the absolute monarchy and introduced Siam's first constitution. The design of the monument is full of symbolism. For example, the four wings are each 24 meters high, signifying the 24th of June date the new constitution was signed. The location of the monument, between the old Grand Palace and the Dusit Palace, is also significant. A copy of the original constitution is held in central pedestal.

Democracy Monument
Bangkok's Democracy Monument

Oddly enough, the Democracy Monument was designed by an Italian immigrant. Corrado Feroci was invited to Thailand in 1924 by King Rama VI to develop a Western-styled art tradition. The sculptor stayed in Thailand, became a Thai citizen (back when that was much easier for a Westerner) and changed his name to Silpa Bhirasi.

The monument has some interesting details in its bas relief panels on the bases of the wings, but braving the traffic whizzing around the site can be a bit daunting. There are plans afloat to turn Rajadamnoen Road into Bangkok's "Champs Elysees" which include underground tunnels to make access to the monument easier and safer.

Getting There

The Democracy Monument occupies a traffic circle on the wide Rajadamnoen Boulevard which runs from the north end of Sanam Luang, up to the Golden Mount, then turns up towards the Ananta Samakorn Throne Hall. Near the Golden Mount, just a short walk from the monument, is the Rama VII Museum. Rama VII was the king who granted Thais their first constitution. The monument is at the halfway point between Sanam Luang and the Golden Mount. If staying around Khao San Road, the monument is a short walk away.

From elsewhere in the city, take the Chaophraya River Express boat to the Banglampuu Pier. Walk through Chana Songkram temple and down Khao San Road, turn left at the end of Khao San and then left at Rajadamnoen. The Democracy Monument can't be missed a block away.