Bangkok

Loha Prasat — the Iron Palace in Bangkok

Loha Prasat

Loha Prasat is Bangkok's only metal temple structure. The Iron Palace is located on the territory of the Wat Ratchanatdaram temple complex and is considered one of the most unusual architectural attractions in Bangkok.

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Loha Prasat on map

Overview of Loha Prasat

Wat Ratchanaddaram Temple Complex

The architecture of the Iron Castle traces the trends of the temple architecture of Ceylon and India, the characteristic design feature of which is a square base and multi-storey layout. The building consists of four floors, the rooms in which are connected by labyrinths. The perimeter of each subsequent level is smaller than the previous one, so the structure resembles a stepped pyramid – chedi (stupa shape in temple construction).

Towers also have the shape of pyramids, which can be reached by spiral staircases with passages. This type of stupa symbolizes the sacred Mount Meru, which is the axis of the world and the center of all material and spiritual worlds in the representations of Buddhism and Hinduism.

The interior of Loha Prasat is quite austere. The upper part of the walls and ceiling in the hall are decorated with frescoes, the shutters are covered with openwork ornaments. Numerous statues of Buddhas are installed in the galleries.

The interior of the Iron Palace

Details of the appearance of Prince Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni Buddha) they correspond to Buddhist canons: the earlobes reach shoulder level, the index, middle, ring finger and little finger have the same length. The ushnisha on the top of the head – the crown of the Buddha – is a symbol of acquired knowledge.

Buddha Statue in Loha Prasat Iron Temple at Wat Ratchanaddaram Temple Complex in Bangkok, Thailand

Around the monumental sculpture of the Buddha there are 8 Buddhas of the days of the week (in the Thai calendar, Wednesday is divided into 2 parts: morning – before 12 and evening after 12 o'clock).

The height of Loha Prasat is 36 m. It consists of four floors, each of which ends in a metal spire. The total number of spires is 37 according to the number of "Bodhisattva practices" on the path to enlightenment.

Facade of Loha Prasat, Wat Ratchanadda, Bangkok, Thailand before reconstruction

The Iron Palace was transformed after the reconstruction, which ended in 2019. The once black iron spires were gilded. The building, which previously looked authentic for traditional temple structures, has become similar to thousands of similar religious buildings with a predominance of white and gold colors in the exterior decoration.

Loha Prasat Iron Palace in the process of reconstruction

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March 27, 2024

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