One night while in Bangkok I decided to just wander the city on foot and take in all the sights from small mom and pop shops to temples. I did my job pretty well as by the time I took this picture it was getting late and I was completely lost. I had just hailed a cab and was ready to get in when I snapped the last pic of the night, not the best shots I have to admit but I took it hastily.
The Democracy monument was commissioned in 1939 to commemorate the 1932 Siamese coup. Designed by Thai architect Mew Aphaiwong and built by Italian artist Corrado Feroci, the monument represents Thailands transformation from an Absolute to a Constitutional Monarchy. Feroci, who immigrated to Thailand and became a Thai citizen, is known as Thailand’s father of modern art. Feroci had previously designed monuments in his native Italy for dictator Benito Mussolini.
The Democracy monument itself stands at the center of a traffic circle on the wide east-west boulevard Thanon Ratchadamnoen Klang, at the intersection of Thanon Dinso. It’s four disembodied angel wing like elements seem to protect the center piece which is a carved representation of the 1932 constitution that sits atop two large golden offering bowls. The wing like structures represent the four branches of the Thai armed forces – army, navy, air force and police that carried out the 1932 coup.
Many coup’s later the Democracy monument still stands as a testament to Thailand’s precarious democratic position. Many protests have begun and ended at this monument and in 1992 it was consecrated with Thai blood when many Thai’s were killed here while protesting the regime of General Suchinda Kraprayoon.
When I’m back in Bangkok next month I’ll pay a proper visit to the Democracy monument and take some decent pictures.