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LEXICON

 

 

Mahatthai Uthit (มหาดไทยอุทิศ)

Thai. ‘Devoted Mahatthai’. The official name of a historical bridge near Pom Maha Kaan (fig.) and which in Thai is fully known as Sapaan Mahatthai Uthit and nicknamed Sapaan Rong Hai (สะพานร้องไห้), i.e. ‘Weeping Bridge’. It officially opened on 23 October 1914 and is located on Boriphat Road where it crosses Khlong Maha Naak (fig.) at the confluence of the latter and Khlong Rop Krung (fig.), which is was formerly known by the name Khlong Khoo Meuang (fig.) and is made up of several sections, the ones at the bridge being Khlong Ohng Ahng (fig.) and Khlong Banglamphoo (fig.). The bridge was an initiative of King Chulalongkorn, though he passed away in 1910, before construction started. Hence, to honour the late King, it was built and funded by Krom Phraya Damrong Rachanuphaap and devoted government officials of the Mahatthai, i.e. the Ministry of the Interior (fig.), from all over the country, in a joint donation and hence the name of the bridge. A small remainder of the entire budget was paid by the Department of Sanitation, who made a model of the bridge that was presented at the cremation ceremony of King Rama V. The design, in the European architectural style, features railings with bas-reliefs of Phra Racha Singh, i.e. the seal of the Mahatthai. In the middle section of the balustrade, on either side of the bridge, is a decorative part with the name of the bridge, flanked by black squires with a white chakra, referring to the Chakri Dynasty, as well as two roofed columns with on one side the bas-relief of a mother holding her child on the arm and covering her eyes and on the other side a woman comforting a young boy who is crying. Above, both pillars are adorned with a black circle and with in the one, in white, two kranok motifs and the Thai number 5 (), referring to Rama V, and in the other, also in white, this king's monogram, i.e. the Thai initials Ch.P.R. (...), that stand for Maha Chuklalongkorn Promrajathiraat  (มหาจุฬาลงกรณ ปรมราชาธิราช). The woman and boy are both crying from sadness for the demise of the King who made the initiative to built this bridge, and thus this theme gave rise to the nickname ‘Weeping Bridge’. See MAP.