CHAN KASEM NATIONAL MUSEUM
Chan Kasem National Museum is situated on the west bank of the new Pa Sak
River. The museum is located in the Chan Kasem Palace in the northeastern area near the
Hua Ro market in Hua Ro district of the city. It can be accessed via U-Thong road. The
palace is generally known by "Wang Na" or "Front Palace", as it was located to the east
of the Grand Palace.

Phraya Boran Rachathanin, a Governor of Ayutthaya and well-known historian, kept his
antique collection at the
Chan Kasem Palace at the end of the 19th century.

In 1902 Prince Damrong Rachanuphab, Minister of Interior, saw Phraya Boran
Rachathanin's collection during a visit and suggested to establish a museum by using the
Royal horse stable as an exposition hall. It was then called the “Ancient Museum”.

King Rama V - during a visit on 23 February 1904 - impressed by the collection,
ordered  to move all the antiques from the stable to be exhibited at the Chaturamuk
pavilion. Some additional construction was done for exhibiting objects along a part of the
palace wall and the whole was then called the “Ayutthaya Museum”.

On 12 February 1936, Fine Arts Department declared the "Ayutthaya Museum" to be a
National Museum with the name "National Museum of Chan Kasem”. It became the first
provincial museum of Thailand. Parts of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's collection were
moved to the National Museum in Bangkok and to the National Museum Chao Sam
Phraya until present.

There are three buildings of the former palace which are used for exhibitions. These are:

The
Chaturamuk Pavilion exhibit a collection of items the everyday life of King Rama
IV called "The memories of King Rama IV".  The building shows a throne hall and the
living quarters of the king, with all the utensils used at that time. Photographs of King
Rama IV and V are decorating the walls. The origin and history of the museum are
featured in this pavilion.

The
Phiman Rataya Group shows art objects as Buddha images, votive tablets, wood
carving etc, which partly Phraya Boran Rachathanin had collected from all over
Ayutthaya.

The
Deputy Government or Maha Thai Bldg displays five themes, being "Ayutthaya
art and  architecture", "Trading ceramics of the Ayutthaya Kingdom", "Ancient weapons",
"Buddhist objects" and the "Riverside life in old city".

The museum service supports studying Thai history with availability of slides, film, video
and a library about historical of Ayutthaya. It is certainly worthwhile a visit.

Link to Chan Kasem National Museum site.
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - August 2009
(View of the Maha Thai Bldg)
(View of the Maha Thai Bldg and Phisai Sanlalak Hall)
(Exhibition of old Buddha statues)
(Exhibition of old Buddha statues)
(Museum groundplan)