6 June 2024

The slight lean in the four mondops, Thai religious architectural features, towards the central tower, or prang, of Bangkok’s famous Wat Arun is not threatening the structure of the main prang, according to Phanombootra Chandrajoti, director-general of the Fine Arts Department.

He said today (Thursday) that the three-dimensional scans of the structures, conducted by officials from the Art and Cultural Heritage Information Technology Centre, shows that the mondop, a square or cruciform building with a pointed roof, on the southern side of the principal prang has tilted slightly towards the main tower, but this poses threat to the structure.

He explained that the slight lean of the mondop might have occurred, due of the type of soil in Bangkok, either when the building was first constructed or when it underwent repairs.

The director-general said that renovation experts from the department will discuss making surveys of the principal prang and surrounding structures every three months, six months or annually, to monitor any increase in the tilt, so appropriate remedial measures can be undertaken.

The current prang is a replica of the original, which was built during the Ayutthaya period. Construction began in 1820, during the reign of King Rama 2 of the Chakri dynasty, and was completed nine years later.

Wat Arun is one of Bangkok’s best known landmarks and sits on the bank of the Chao Phraya River.