The Grand Palace complex was
established in 1782. It houses not only the royal residence and throne halls,
but also a number of government offices, as well as the renowned Temple of the
Emerald Buddha. It covers an area of 218.000 square meters and is surrounded by
four walls, with a total length of 1900 m.
The palace was built after the ascension to the throne of King Rama 1 in
1782. Prior to this, the royal palace and center of administration had been
located in Thonburi, on the west side of the Chao Phraya River. For various
reasons, the new king considered the former capital to be unsuitable. He decided
to establish a new capital on the other side of the river. By his royal command,
a new palace was built not only as his residence but also to accommodate a
number of administrative offices. Ever since, the royal compound has been known
as the Grand Palace. The two earliest structures erected within the complex were
the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall and the Phra Maha Monthian.