The Royal Crematorium

1 Dec

An amazing example of traditional Thai architecture


While I was still in Toronto, I followed the lavish ceremony that was held for the cremation of King Rama IX, just over a year after his death.  This was a final good-bye to a man who was likely the most revered monarch in the world.  The Thai government spared no expense in ensuring that the ceremony was not only lavish and dignified, but one that would remain in the Thai peoples’ memories for a very long time.

While I continue to get myself organized during this trip, I thought I would show some photos of the amazing crematorium that was built specifically for this event.  This is meaningful for me, as this building’s design is very much in the tradition of the Thai Spirit House.  And as you will know, one of my favourite subjects is the Spirit House.  Every visit to Bangkok has Blog entries that talk about Spirit Houses.  It’s the most important and unique architectural expression that one sees in Thailand and it’s also an important part of Thai culture.  The crematorium seems to fit right into the design language that is so important in Thailand.

The photo below shows the components of the building, while the photos in the slide show above shows some actual shots taken by others of the building.  It’s an amazing piece of architecture.

If you’re still interested, here is a video that shows the actual building.  It’s huge.  And the fact that it was completed in only 9-months is mind blowing.  A building of this size and complexity would normally take at least 14-18 months to complete.

The actual crematorium building is now open to the public, I think, until the end of this month.  I hope to get the time to visit.  If I get the chance to see it, I’ll certainly let you know.

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