On the Ayutthaya historical island, there are two museums: one is called the Chao Sam Phraya museum, and the other is called the Chandra Kasem National Museum.
Artifacts found during excavations and restorations of ancient temples in Ayutthaya are displayed here, along with King Mongkut’s personal belongings and living quarters. In addition, the museum houses relics of Ayutthaya’s past.
Former Royal Palace
The building that houses the museum was originally the Chandra Kasem palace, which was constructed in 1577 by King Naresuan, the Great of Ayutthaya. During the Burmese invasion in 1767, it was obliterated by the Burmese and given the name Wang Na, which translates to “the Front Palace.”
In the latter half of the 19th century, King Mongkut, also known as Rama IV, oversaw the reconstruction of the palace. When the King was in Ayutthaya, Chandra Kasem was used as his official Residence while he was there.
A tall brick wall encloses the palace grounds, and there is a gated entrance on each side of the wall. There are two Royal Pavilions, a building called the Maha Thai, Royal Horse Stables, and an Observation Tower on the grounds.
The Chaturamuk pavilion is the structure that is located closest to the entrance. It is a wooden structure designed in the Thai style, and it has a tiled roof and gables decorated with wood carvings.
The king’s throne hall and living quarters, which include a bedroom and a study, are located within the pavilion which King Mongkut constructed. The rooms contain furniture, an intricately decorated bed, decorative items, paintings, and clocks belonging to King Mongkut. Other room items include decorative items, decorative items, and photographs.
Phiman Rataya Pavilion
The Phiman Rataya pavilion can be found close to the Chaturamuk pavilion. This structure houses an extensive collection of artifacts discovered during excavations and restorations of temples in Ayutthaya. Some items on display here include votive tablets, carvings made of wood, and images of Buddha. Several very old Dvaravati and Khmer sandstone images of the Buddha are included in the collection of artifacts.
A number of the king’s personal belongings, such as furniture and wood carvings, are also on display. These items include his crown.
Maha Thai building
Art and Architecture in Ayutthaya
The exhibition includes decorative items such as Khmer-style carved antefixes, sema stones that marked the sacred area of temple buildings, and decorative stuccoed building elements that demonstrate the craftsmanship of Ayutthaya artisans.
Ayutthaya Kingdom trade ceramics
During the Ayutthaya period, there was extensive trade with many European and Asian countries. This exhibition features ceramics from various countries, including China and Japan.
Weapons from the past
The ancient weapons room displays canons, canon balls, and a small cannon mounted on a howdah, a seat on the back of an elephant used by the Ayutthaya armies.
This room displays Buddhist art, such as a Buddha footprint, a collection of beautifully lacquered cabinets used to store ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and several antique fans used during Royal ceremonies.