Loha Prasat (Metal Palace)
Wat Ratchanadda is a Royal temple best known for the Loha Prasat or Metal Castle, a very unique structure in the Bangkok skyline. In 1846 King Rama III ordered construction of the Wat Ratchanatdaram Worawihan, as the temple is officially named.
Loha Prasat, which means iron castle or iron monastery, has 37 black metal spires symbolizing the 37 virtues that are required to reach enlightenment. The 36 meter high Metal Castle consists of 3 levels, the bottom one has 24 spires, the middle one 12 and the top level has 1 spire, totalling 37 spires.
Only two other similar structures have existed in the world. It is said that during the life of the Buddha some 25 centuries ago, a huge Loha Prasat was built in India containing 1000 rooms with a golden spire on top. Another one was built in Sri Lanka, the former Ceylon.
Neither of these exists today. The Loha Prasat of the Wat Ratchanadda was modelled after the one in Sri Lanka. Since the Loha Prasat of Wat Ratchanadda is the only one of its kind in existence today, it is under consideration with UNESCO to be made a World Heritage Site.