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An experience we will never forget
March 24, 2012

Royal Palace

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The Royal Palace in Luang Prabang was built in 1904 during the French colonial era for King Sisavang Vong and his family. After the death of King Sisavang Vong, the crown Prince Savang Vatthana and his family were the last to occupy the grounds. In 1975, the monarchy was overthrown by communist government and the palace was then converted into a national museum.

 



The architecture of the Royal Palace features a combination of traditional Laos and French Beaux Arts styles. Above the entrance is a three-headed elephant sheltered by the sacred white parasol, the symbol of the Lao monarchy. The steps to the entrance are made of Italian marble. There are a variety of royal religious objects on display in the large entrance hall.

On the right of the entrance is the King's reception room, where busts of the Lao monarchy are displayed along with two large gilded and lacquered Ramayana screens, crafted by the local artisan Thit Tanh. The room's walls are covered with murals that depict scenes from traditional Lao lifestyles, painted in 1930 by a French artist, Alix de Fauntereau. Each of the walls is intended to be viewed at a different time of day, depending on the light that enters the windows on one side of the room, which matches the time the day depicted.

The right front corner room of the Palace houses a collection of the palace's most prized art, including the Phra Bang, cast of a gold, silver and bronze alloy. This Buddha measures 83 cm tall and weighs around 50 kg.

The throne hall is sandwiched between the reception wing and the residential wing. On display are two royal thrones and the king's elephant chair. The interior walls of the throne room are decorated with cut mirrored tile mosaics, similar to Wat Xieng Thong. Visitor should respect reserved dress code and no photography allowed.

 

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