(The Photo Gallery you will find below the story)
On July 19, 1897, King Chulalongkorn of Siam (present-day Thailand) visited Sweden and Ragunda municipality. He had got an invitation from the Swedish/Norwegian King Oscar II to the International Art and Industry Fair in Stockholm and he accepted.
King Oscar II knew that king Chulalongkorn of Siam was interested to see the Swedish sawmill industry, he chose the middle part of northern Sweden. There was beautiful scenery with bright summer nights and impressive waterfalls. King Chulalongkorn was also interested in the modern Swedish traffic, both on water and on land.
In the middle of 1992, a Thai folk-dancing troupe visited Ragunda, and they heard about the road that had been named after their king. They visited the location and were quite fascinated. In 1993, an association was formed, Föreningen Chulalongkorns Minne (FCM) which took the first steps on the project. Ragunda municipality took the initiative and in 1994, a committee was formed to ensure the progress of the work. This committee consisted of representatives of Swedish and Thai interests. The construction work started in 1997.
The construction costs amounted to about 7,000,000 SEK. This does not include 3,000,000 SEK worth of decorations, such as the gilded sceptre. The project has been financed through fund-raising and sponsorship in Thailand and Sweden. The decorations have been made by the present Thai king's own craftsmen, while the rest of the building has been projected and constructed by companies in Jämtland.
The floor-surface is 75 square metres. The internal height is 7 metres (23 ft.) and the entire building, including the sceptre, rises no less than 26 metres (85 ft.) into the air. A stone wall made of Jämtlandic limestone frames the magnificent white building (each stone weighs 20 kgs or 44 lbs.). Inside the pavilion is a bronze life-size statue of King Chulalongkorn. This is the only pavilion of its kind outside Thailand.
King Chulalongkorn Day
The memory of King Chulalongkorn's visit July 19, 1897 in Utanede, are celebrated each year with a ceremony at the statue of the King, inside the Thai Pavilion.
The sun shone from a clear blue sky when the procession from the entrance building to the Thai Pavilion began. All Thai women were dressed in their beautiful costumes and most of the procession had gifts or flowers to give to the statue of the King.
Open House at SI9AM
We had open house on SI9AM and SM3LIV/Ulla and SM3FJF/Jörgen showed the Visititors Amaterur Radio Station for interested tourists. Ulla worked about 100 radio contacts. On the 20 meter band most of the radio contacts was with European radio amateurs and on the 80 meter band with Scandinavian radio amateurs. One of the visitors during the day was SSA's district leaders SM3GDT/Hans with XYL Agneta.