The snow-white fort rises majestically in the central district of the Thai capital, in the middle of Santi Chai Prakan Park. The architecturally well-preserved structure is one of the many important historical sites in the country.
Of the original 14 fortresses that protected Rattanakosin Island –founding territory of the new Siamese capital in 1782–, only two remain: Fort Mahakan in the east of the district and Fort Phra Sumen in the northwest corner.
In 1783, King Rama I had the mighty defenses built on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River to protect the old town from pirates, looters and other invaders. The ramparts, gunnery and cannons are still preserved, and those who climb the citadel will be rewarded with a magnificent panoramic view of the River of the Kings, the Rama VIII Suspension Bridge and the Castle Park. The park, which generously surrounds the stronghold, was built in 2000 as a recreational oasis.
In 1981, the Fine Arts Department repaired and restored the original image from the reign of King Rama V. The Department also revamped the area around the park.
Phra Sumen Fort is about 10 minutes from Khao San Road. From Phra Athit Road is about 5 minutes walk. Nearby points of interest also include Royal Palace, Wat Po, Wat Arun. Ideal for a varied day trip to the old city of Bangkok.
Photos courtesy of Preecha MJ, rjaree (Pixabay), Uthen Smantai and Nastybank.
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