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LEXICON

 

 

Royal Dockyard Museum

Naval museum located along a dry-dock at the royal shipyard, within the compound of the Royal Thai Navy base in Thonburi (fig.). Though the initiative to establish the museum dates from 2008, it was officially opened on 25 August 2011 by Navy Admiral Kamthon Phumhiran (กำธร พุ่มหิรัญ), the then Navy Commander. The museum is housed in the former Directorate of Operations of the Naval Dockyard Department, a greyish-green two-storey edifice that was constructed over 100 years ago, in the reign of King Rama V. The first floor was built using mortared masonry, while the upper floor is made of wood and decorated in the architectural style, which is informally referred to as Ban Khanompang Khing (บ้านขนมปังขิง), i.e. ‘Gingerbread House’. The roof is covered with diamond-shaped tiles, that are known in Thai as krabeuang waw, literally ‘kite tiles’ (fig.), while perforated ornaments crafted from wood run along the lower ridges of the roof. The museum exhibits the history of the area and of Thai shipbuilding from the past to present, including scale models (fig.) of all kinds of boats (fig.), their machinery and accessories, as well as a scale model of the area in the beginning of the construction of the shipyard. There are also numerous photographs of warships, as well as equipment and attributes used by the Royal Thai Navy, including naval flags from the past (fig.) and present. Also referred to as the Naval Dockyard Museum and in Thai known as Phiphithaphan Uh Reua Luang (พิพิธภัณฑ์อู่เรือหลวง), yet its full official name is Phiphithaphan Uh Reua Luang Chaleum Phra Kian 84 Phansa (พิพิธภัณฑ์อู่เรือหลวงเฉลิมพระเกียรติ ๘๔ พรรษา), i.e. ‘To Honour 84 Years Royal Dockyard Museum’, in English officially described as ‘His Majesty The King's 84 Birthday Anniversary Royal Dockyard Museum’, as it is dedicated in honour of King Bhumipon Adunyadet's 7th Birthday Cycle in 2011. See also Chulachomklao Battle Ship Museum, Naval Museum, and Royal Barges Museum