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Varadis Palace Museum  
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Review พิพิธภัณฑ์วังวรดิศ
By: (1127) | Date: February 10, 2012

The museum was formerly the residence of Prince Damrongrajanupharb. A visit to this museum must be started at the Library Hall, where large numbers of priceless books in Thai and foreign languages had been collected by the Prince. Prince Damrong did his studies, written works, and researches here. The library is the front section of the former palace. The next section was the residence building in the German Art Nouveau style, designed by Dr. Karl Siegfried Dohring. The residence of rather palace has 2 stories. The façade has decorative intricate details of leaves, which have given this building its uniqueness. The heir owner of the palace, Major General M.R. Sungkadis Diskul, former Thai Ambassador to Switzerland and grandson of Prince Damrong, had very much devoted himself after his retirement to turn the palace into a museum. Princess Kalayanniwattana (the King’s sister) presided over the opening ceremony on September 12, 1977.

The emphasis of the exhibition is to keep each room and its furniture in much the same way as possible as it used to be – so that the rooms so full of histories and historical happenings could tell the stories of the Prince’s tasks and devotion for the country. A guide will take visitors from room to room – the Dining Room (where King Rama VI and Rama VII used to dine with the Prince), the very beautiful Chinese Room (decorated with imported mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture from China), the Ground Floor Living Room or Study Room (where the Prince talked and exchanged knowledge and information with foreign dignitaries on their official visits. The pulpit was for the monks with whom the Prince discussed religions topics).

Upstairs, there are the Bathroom and Dressing Room, where the Prince’s various outfits worn on different occasions, also when he was young, are kept. (The clothes indicate that the Prince was a small-sized person). Next is the Study Room where he worked during daytime. There are desks and bookcases filled with books he had used for official missions overseas. There are also two Thai flags – the old red flag with an elephant in the middle, and the new 3-colour (or Trairong) flag. This signified that the Prince had served the country during both periods of time. Another room used to be the Bedroom, but which M.R. Sungkadis has changed into Hall of Fame, where photographs of the family members whose devotion had been for the common good are kept. 

The following room is where the Prince passed away in his wheelchair. The clock in the room was stopped short at the very minute he died. Another beautiful room is where Buddha images are kept. The Crown Princess upon her visit complimented that it was so beautifully decorated – by the Prince himself. Among the very beautiful things is the altar set, with the major image “Phra Chao Jom Jak”, also decorated by the Prince. Placed in the base underneath the image are the 7 gem stones, a gift from an Indian Emperor, which would glitter and reflect 7 different colours in the light. The most valuable in this room are the black cabinets on both sides where the royal remains of Kings Rama I, Rama II, Rama IV, and Crown Prince Maha Vajirunhis who died very young, are kept. There is also the cloth used for drying King Rama VI’s feet right after his death. These cabinets are opened once a year, on Songkran Days, for the public to view.

Then there is the Verandah Room with a blue carpet. The room is said to be the first in Thailand where a movie was shown. Prince Sanpasartsupakij had brought the projector and films from overseas. The small room next to this one has mosquito screens. It was Prince Damrong’s study room, well- equipped with stationery. The Prince did his work here at night. After looking around the second floor, one should next walk down the wooden stairways covered with a red carpet, and with so many walking sticks and kris hanging on them. The sticks and the kris were presents from the people all over the country during the Prince’s official inspection trips.

The end part of the museum is the Disvarakumar Gallery recently opened, on October 14, 2007. The gallery houses a number of photographs of Prince Damrong while working, of the stories of his family, also an exhibition on his written works, which were on almost all academic subjects taught in Thailand: history, archeology, education, military studies, etc. Prince Damrong was the first Thai citizen to have been honoured as a world famous personality by UNESCO. In the gallery there are pictures of the Prince’s horse-drawn carriage he used on his inspection visits, pictures of his different generation heirs, and lastly pictures of the first commoner heir Master Varadis Diskul na Ayuthaya – name given by the Princess Mother.

Because of their significance, a visit to this museum and the library requires an advanced written permission. Only group visits during office hours are permitted. But a single interested individual is welcome if he joins with some other groups.

Field work survey: Aug 20, 2008

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  Varadis Palace Museum  
: 204 Lan Luang Rd.,Klong Mahanak subdistrict,Pom Prap Sattru Phai District,Bangkok 10100
: 0-2282-9110
: -
: Monday-Friday 9.00am-12.00pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm Prior permission is required.Please contact and send the letter to the museum in advance.
: Prior permission is required. Please contact and send the letter to the museum in advance.
: http://prince-damrong.moi.go.th
: m_l_panadda@yahoo.com
: 1977
: -
Management : private
Story : heritage house
life history
Status : Open
Update Jan 15, 2014
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Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre 20 Baromaratchachonnani Rd, Taling Chan, Bangkok 10170
Tel. +66 2 8809429 | Fax. +66 2 8809332 | E-mail. webmaster@sac.or.th 
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