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Ministry of Defence, Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand.

I approached the guards on the gate seeing this for the first time many years ago. My friend with me didn’t know what it was. They told me it’s the same as the American Pentagon, The Ministry of Defence. So yes this is Thailand’s Ministry of Defence in Sanam Chai Road, Phra Nakhon District. This impressive building covers a huge area opposite the Grand Palace. It is sandwiched between the City Pillar Shrine and Saranrom Palace.

The original name was Rong Thahan Na ( front barracks ). This is the place  were three palaces  were originally constructed under The Royal Order of H.M. King Phra Buddha Yodfa Chulalok the Great, King Rama 1. The Ministry of Defence  was also the warehouse of all arms, Beast of Burdens, Vehicles and various provisions.

Chao Phraya Surasak Montri ( Choem Saeng Chu Tom ) was the controller of this construction. It was started in the year 1881 and completed in 1884, and the official opening took place on July 18th 1884. The budget of the construction and decorations were about 570,000 Baht. The buildings of the Ministry of Defence were built as a group of buildings in the late European Architectural style, and it was very popular in Thailand at that time.

The Ministry, like any other government department, is headed by the secretariat who helps the Minister and Deputy Ministers exercise their authority and administer the department. On the front lawn of the ministry is an open air museum displaying cannons down through the ages. Previously, many  of the cannons were aimed at the Grand Palace opposite. However, a few years ago  the cannons were re-arranged  so as not to be so intimidating to such a prestigious building.

The Ministry of Interior ( MOI ) is in  Atsadang rd, Bangkok 10200. Very near to the rear of this building. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( MFA ) Saranrom Palace, Sanam Chai Rd, Bangkok 10200  can be found next to this Ministry of Defence.