Phra Nakhon Khiri Park

Phra Nakhon Khiri Park

Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park or Khao Wang

This hill originally called Khao Samana or Khao Khiri, is located in the vicinity of Amphoe Muang Phetchaburi. The peak is 92 meters high. King Mongkut, Rama IV of the present dynasty, saw this hill and was so fond of the location that he gave an order to Phraya Phet Nisai Sisawat, Chief Administrative Officer of Muang Phetchaburi , to carry out the construction of a palace which he could use during his picnic trip. The construction was completed in the year 1860. It was named by the royal command, Phra Nakhon Khiri, But folks of Phetchaburi commonly call it Khao Wang (Palace Hill) until now.

Phra Nakhon Khiri comprises royal halls, palaces, wats, and groups of buildings. The complex which was constructed mostly of harmonious Western neoclassic and Chinese architecture tops the following 3 large mountains : Eastern mountaintop, location of a hillside temple called Wat Maha Samanaram within the rite hall of which there are mural paintings by Khrua In Khong, a renowned painter in Thai history.

The wat dates back to Ayutthaya period. Another temple, Wat Phra Kaew, tops the mountain as royal temple of Phra Nakhon Khiri, a resemblance to Wat Phra Si Rattana Maha Satsadaram (the Temple of the Emerald Buddha) which stands as royal temple of the Grand Palace, Bangkok.

Middle mountaintop, location of a 40 meters high chedi called Phra That Chom Phet inside of which the Buddha's relic had been placed. From here, a wide view of buildings on another 2 nearby mountaintops as well as Phetchaburi's provincial city can be seen.

Western mountaintop, location of royal residence complex including Phra Thi Nang Phet Phum Phairot, Phra Thi Nang Pramot Mahaisawan, Phra Thi Nang Wetchayan Wichian Prasat, Phra Thi Nang Ratcha Tham Sapha, Ho Chatchawan Wiang Chai, Ho Phiman Phet Mahesuan, Tamnak Santhakhan Sathan, Ho Chatuwet Parit Phot and Sala Thatsana Nakkhataroek. There are also several other buildings which are typical of palaces within the complex such as garage, stable, Sala Mahat Lek (royal page hall), Sala Lukkhun (official hall), Sala Dan (post), Sala Yenchai (hall for relaxation), Thim Dap (bodyguard rooms), and kitchen.4 forts stand at the 4 corners of the complex, each was named in rhyme starting with Thatarot Pongpok in the east. Wirunhok borirak in the south, Wirupak Pongkan in the west, and Wetsuwan Raksa in the north.

Some parts of the complex on this western mountain top were altered into Phra nakhon Khiri National Museum where priceless antiques such as King Rame IV's and King Rama V's paraphernalia, bronze and brass sculptures used for decorative purposes in several rooms of various buildings, and ceramics from China, Japan, and Europe are put on exhibition. The museum is open daily between 9.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m. except Monday and Tuesday. Admission Bt 40 each. Phra Nakhon Khiri Historical Park is open everyday between 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m. Admission Bt20. The mountaintop palaces are accessible either o foot or by cable railway which charge Bt10 each for one-way and Bt15 each for round trip.

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