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Lak Mueang / City Pillar Shrine - ศาลหลักเมืองกรุงเทพมหานคร

Walking : ~ 15 minutes
Tuk Tuk : ~ 5 minutes

Lak Mueang are City pillars found in most cities of Thailand. Usually housed in a shrine which is also believed to house Chao Pho Lak Meuang (เจ้าพ่อหลักเมือง), the city spirit deity; it is held in high esteem by citizens.

It was probably King Rama I, who erected the first city pillar on April 21, 1782, when he moved his capital from Thonburi to Bangkok. The shrine was actually the first building of his new capital, the Palace and other buildings were created later.

Shortly after the shrine in Bangkok, similar shrines were built in strategic provinces to symbolize central power, such as in Songkhla. Further shrines were created during the reign of King Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (Rama II) in Nakhon Khuen Khan and Samut Prakan, and by King Nangklao (Rama III) in Chachoengsao, Chanthaburi and Battambang (now Cambodia). However, after King Mongkut raised a new pillar in Bangkok, no further shrines in the provinces were built until 1944 Then Prime Minister of Thailand Phibul Songkhram had a city pillar built in Phetchabun, as he intended to move the capital to this town. Though this plan failed to get approval by the parliament, the idea of city pillars caught on, and in the following years several provincial towns built new shrines. In 1992, the Ministry of Interior ordered that every province now should have such a shrine.