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Ho Ratsadakon Phiphat (หอรัษฎากรพิพัฒน์)

Thai. ‘Hall of Fiscal Prosperity’. Name of a building within the compound of the Grand Palace in Bangkok, that dates back to the early Rattanakosin Period and today houses the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles (fig.). It was built on the site of a former army barracks and is named for its first occupant, i.e. the Royal Department of Tax Revenue, which was later renamed the Ministry of Finance. In 1870, early in the reign of King Chulalongkorn, the army barracks were demolished and the present Italianate building was erected, which was presumably designed with the involvement of the Grassi brothers, three Italian architects recruited that year to work in Bangkok. The building was twice enlarged between 1870 and 1918, and following the ministry’s departure in 1987, it became the Office of Royal Ceremony. After the latter also departed from the complex, it was left vacant, until the Queen in 2003 asked permission to make it into the current textiles museum. See MAP.