This Wat is made of white Carrana marble, hence it is also called The Marble Temple. Constructed by King Rama V in 1901, it ... More
Wat Benchamabophit (The Marble Temple)
This Wat is made of white Carrana marble, hence it is also called The Marble Temple. Constructed by King Rama V in 1901, it employs European ecclesiastic details, such as stained-glass windows and contains a superb cloister collection of bronze Buddha images. These images, which are 33 originals and 20 reproductions, represent famous idols and styles from all over Asia and other Buddhist countries. This is an excellent place to watch religious festivals and processions. Unlike most other temples, monks do not go out seeking alms but are instead visited by merit-makers from 6a-7a.
I haven't been in Thailand in probably about 35 years, but I did visit a lot of temples while I was there and this is one of the most beautiful, outside and inside. It's not as large or impressive as some of the others, but certainly well worth visiting. It's one that I returned to more than once. This review forces a date for the visit, so I just picked the oldest one.
There isn't the "wow" factor of Wat Pra Kaew (the temple of the Grand Palace) but the Italian marble and stained glass windows gives the place a unique character. When in Bangkok, it is easy to overdose on temples (buddha sitting down, buddha standing up, buddha lying down, etc. etc.) but you will see something here that you won't at any of the other temples: a tasteful elegance, rather than every spare inch plastered with gold leaf; and fountains, water features and benches just to sit down and enjoy the beauty of the place. Because it is just off the tourist trail, you will also find that this place is not as crowded as many of the others. This is also the temple at which the current king (Rama IX, Bhumibhol Adulyadej) was himself a monk in his youth.
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