Holy Rosary Church – The Unchanged Colonial Charisma of the Kalawario
The capital of Thailand, Bangkok, is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world. Famous for its religious attractions, Bangkok is the ideal place to observe striking architectural styles such as traditional Thai and Khmer juxtaposed with the contemporary. You can find architecture at its best at some of the famous places of worship in Bangkok. Whether you visit a Wat, a Thai temple, or a church of the colonial times, you will be greeted warmly by their spellbinding charisma.
One of the most visited churches in Bangkok is the Holy Rosary Church resting on the banks of the meandering Chao Phraya River. The Portuguese built this church in 1786 on a land bestowed upon them by King Rama I. Holy Rosary Church was built on the Bangkok river bank, in Samphanthawong, a small yet densely populated district in Bangkok.
The history of the church dates back to the mid 17th century, when the French missionaries entered the city. They eventually occupied the first Catholic Church built by the Portuguese in Ayuttaya, Thailand’s former capital. This led the Portuguese missionaries to retreat to the banks of Chao Phraya River and establish the Holy Rosary Church. Kalawario and Kalawar is how the locals refer to this church. These names have been derived from the Calvary, the very site of Crucifixion.
When you visit Holy Rosary Church, the first thing that captures your attention is its imposing height and the charming facade. This church features a bold facade imbued with Neo-Gothic elements. You will see lofty arched entrances surrounded by charming wall decorations, topped with a soaring spire. Right above the imposing main entrance rests an image of Virgin Mary.
As you enter the aisle of Holy Rosary Church your eyes will spot the ceiling completely covered in captivating decorations. From this lofty ceiling droops attractive chandeliers and fans suspended on lengthy down rods, adding further charm to its interior. The church windows flaunt stunning mosaics while the ornate altar is flanked by several images of various sizes.
Just outside the Holy Rosary Church sits the Sister’s quarters flanked by a charming garden where another statue of Virgin Mary can be found. And as you stroll along you will come across yet another image wrapped in greenery sitting amidst a beautiful rock garden. Its unruffled ambiance, enthralling aesthetics and the historical and religious value make Holy Rosary Church one of the top sightseeing attractions in Bangkok.