The Parutsakawan Palace complex is in the grounds of the Metropolitan Police Bureau on Si Ayutthaya road in the royal Dusit district. It contains two buildings, Parutsakawan, and Chitralada Villa. The Parutsakawan building is currently the headquarters of the National Intelligence Agency (Thai C.I.A.) and is off-limits to the public. The Chitralada Villa building is open to the public as a museum and is noted for the beautiful Italian architectural style.
The Parutsakawan Palace was built in 1906 by King Rama V. It was a residence for his son Prince Chakrabongse and his Russian wife after they had returned to Thailand after completing his military training in Russia. The Chitralada Villa was added to the site in 1911 as a residence for another son Crown Prince Maha Vajiravudh (King Rama VI) on his return from military training at Sandhurst in England.
The building was designed by Italian architect Mario Tamagno. The exterior was in the style of an Italian villa. The interior was designed and decorated in the art nouveau style. It featured Baroque and Rococo art that was popular in Europe and Thailand at that time.
The villa is beautifully furnished and contains an exhibition on the history and architecture of the palace complex. An introductory video is screened on the ground floor. One of the rooms is dedicated to the invention of a machine gun stand. It was designed by an army engineer on the advice of H.M King Bhumibol.
Also, located in the complex is a modern glass building housing the Police Museum. It contains an exhibition of the history and evolution of the Thai police. There are old uniforms, weapons, documents, photographs, and a replica of an old prison cell. Visitors can take photos.
Note that the complex is accessed via the main entrance of the Metropolitan Police Bureau. Security is tight so bring your passport.
Location: 323 Si Ayutthaya Road.
Opening Hours: 10.00-16.00 Wednesday – Sunday.
Rules: You need to bring your passport or a photocopy of the picture page. This will be retained at the front gate and returned to you when you leave. No shoes in the house or police museum.
How to get there:
Bus: No. 3, 16, 23, 70, 72, 79, 505, 509.
Boat: Chao Phraya Express Boat to Tha Thewet Pier (N15), then 10-minute walk up Si Ayutthaya road.