ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: More than a second home  (อ่าน 980 ครั้ง)

saku98

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More than a second home
« เมื่อ: ตุลาคม 05, 2020, 10:26:04 AM »
Nestled within a 41-rai white-walled area in downtown Lop Buri is Phra Narai Ratchaniwet, a pride of the local people. The palace became known as Narai Palace, as it was where King Narai the Great spent most of his time outside of the capital, during the Ayutthaya period.

King Narai the Great was known to spend 8-9 months of the year at the palace, far from the capital in Ayutthaya. Back then, the journey to the "second capital" -- as the king spent so much of his time there -- took two days by boat.

To most, Narai Palace is known for its feats of technology which would be considered advanced for the 17th century. For example, the palace had a complex waterworks system that brought fresh water from faraway sources which also irrigated its surrounding areas and buildings.


To diplomats, however, the palace -- along with the Khmer-European style buildings which dot the province -- reflects Thailand's growing international stature and the beginning of many diplomatic relations under the king's reign.

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Last year marked the 333rd anniversary of the first visit by a Siamese contingent to the court of King Louis XIV of France, which led by Ok-Phra Wisut Sunthon. Also known as Kosa Pan, he was sent by King Narai the Great to present a letter seeking an "eternal alliance" with the Sun King in 1686.

"It was the first time the Siamese learned and know how the West operated, and it was the also one of the first times the West had the chance to see Siam and its civilisation," said historical expert Predee Phisphumvidhi, during a trip to the palace organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Many foreigners had been in Siam at that point and Siamese diplomats had been sent as far as the Hague, but the main purpose of their interactions was trade, the academic said.


With the letter, in which the king referred to his French counterpart as "a friend", he said, the king set the tone for the start of a diplomatic relationship.

The moment when Kosa Pan was granted an audience with King Louis XIV in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles was immortalised in a picture, which shows how important the visit was, Mr Predee said. The French king also commissioned commemorative coins to mark the Siamese envoy's visit, which are now shown at Narai Palace.

"Parisians paid attention to whatever the envoy did and wherever he went as if he was an Oppa," Mr Predee said applying the word used to describe popular Korean stars.

King Louis XIV went on to ask for a concession to some parts of Siam, to which Kosa Pan said he wasn't authorised to speak on the matter as it wasn't on the mission's agenda. The envoy went home with 600 French troops, which King Louis XIV had pledged to support King Narai in Siam, and the issue of the concession was dropped. Later, the French king sent a contingent led by the Chevalier de Chaumont, accompanied by Jesuit missionaries. Although their audience with King Narai the Great took place in Ayutthaya, a picture of the event is now displace in Narai Palace.

The Jesuits didn't just come to preach, as they also had a scientific mission. Lop Buri became one of the three star-gazing locations, besides Paris and Beijing, where they collected empirical data which they used to further improve the safety of seafaring as well as the field of astronomy.

At Kraison Siharat residential hall -- commonly known as Phra Thinang Yen or Thale Chup Son hall, located some 4 kilometres from downtown Lop Buri -- King Narai the Great witnessed the solar eclipse of 1688 alongside the French missionaries. But the importance of diplomatic relations under the king could also be best seen from the official residence for foreign ambassadors, known as Wichayen House.

The massive compound consists of three buildings -- house of Chao Phraya Wichayen- King Narai's Greek counsellor Constantine Phaulkon, a church and a reception hall. The buildings, except the church, had subterranean cellars where they would keep fine drinks to be served at diplomatic receptions.

Not only is the house located near the palace, it is linked to the palace by its own road. The road is now called Rue de France, or "France Road", to honour the diplomatic relations between Siam and France. แทงบอลออนไลน์