>> Monday, August 24, 2009
The Democracy Monument is a public monument in the centre of Bangkok. It occupies a traffic circle on the wide east-west boulevard Thanon Ratchadamnoen Klang, at the intersection the Thanon Dinso. The monument is roughly halfway between Sanam Luang, the former royal cremation ground in front of Wat Phra Kaew, and the temple of the Golden Mount (Phu Kao Thong).
The monument was commissioned in 1939 to commemorate the 1932 Siamese coup d'état which led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in what was then the Kingdom of Siam, by its military ruler, Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram Phibun saw the monument as the centre of what he envisaged as a new, westernised Bangkok, "making Thanon Ratchadamnoen the Champs-Élysées and the Democracy Monument the Arc de Triomphe."