Saranarom Palace

Saranarom Palace was built by Rama IV (1858 - 1868) in 1866. He planned to use it after he abdicated but he died before it was completed. Rama V (1868 - 1910) gave the palace to his younger brother Prince Chakrabandhu when he came of age, and then his youngest brother Prince Bhanubandhu in his turn. By 1884, the young prince had moved to his own palace and Saranarom was then vacant.

Saranarom Palace
Saranarom Palace, in 2012 after many years of restoration.

When it was agreed to arrange a visit by Sweden's Prince Oscar to the kingdom, King Rama V ordered the repair and redecoration of Saranarom Palace. During his stay, Prince Oscar wrote the following about his accommodations:

"The Saranarom Palace, which is our residence, is a building in oriental style. There are many large courtyards paved with marble and lined with pillars. My attendants live in rooms overlooking a courtyard surrounded by a veranda. We thus stay together in this palace and can meet along a shady cool gallery where they have chairs for us to sit or in the billiard room. 'Our Palace' as we call it has a beautiful garden and zoo with deer, monkeys, a black tiger, and many other animals and birds."

In 1886, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Devawongse, requested the full time use of the palace for the office of the Ministry. However, the building was still often used to house high ranking foreign visitors, such as Prince George of Greece (1890) and the Tsarevitch of Russia (1893). The palace was also used to house sons of the kings during temporary stays in Thailand while studying in Europe.

After the 1932 revolution, the palace reverted to be the headquarters of the Foreign Ministry. The building underwent extensive renovations starting in 2003 and was only recently unveiled in late 2011. It is not open to the public, although there has long been talk of turning all the buildings around the Grand Palace into museums.