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LEXICON

 

 

Thawornwatthu (ถาวรวัตถุ)

Thai. Name of an elongated building along the southwestern part of Sanam Luang (fig.) and opposite of the Grand Palace (fig.) in Bangkok. It runs along the street as a kind of facade for Wat Mahathat Yuwaraja Rangsarit, an adjacent temple located in the back of it, away from the street. It was initially erected to serve as the royal crematorium of Prince Wajirunhit (fig.), i.e. the first actual crown prince and successor to the throne of King Rama V, who personally instructed and prepared him with the purpose to succeed him. However, in 1895, the crown prince unexpectedly died from typhoid and was succeeded by his thirteen year old half-brother Wachirawut. After the funeral ceremony, the building served for a while as the National Library, after it moved from Sala Sahathai Samakhom within the compound of the Royal Palace (fig.) and prior to moving to its present location on Samsen Road in 1905 when the National Library was recreated through the merger of three existing royal libraries. Later the Thawornwatthu Building was turned into a museum portraying the life and royal duties of King Chulalongkorn, named Ho Samut Piya Maha Raj Raleuk (หอสมุดปิยมหาราชรฦก), i.e. the Beloved Great King Commemorative Library’. Until 2017, the building with a dark greyish roof, was painted in the royal yellowish colour (fig.), yet after 2018, the edifice has been repainted in rust brown. In Thai usually referred to as Teuk Thawornwatthu (ตึกถาวรวัตถุ), which translates as Thawornwatthu Building. Also transliterated Thavaravathu.