Victory Monument

Location :
Located in the middle of a traffic circle at the intersection of Phahonyothin Road, Ratchawithi Road and Phayathai Road in Ratchathewi district, Bangkok. It also marks the beginning of Phahonyothin Road.
Age :
Built in 1941 during the reign of King Rama VIII.
Type of Monument :
Unregistered monument.


Victory Monument was built to commemorate the Thai victory in the Franco-Thai War. The war was a result of a territorial dispute over parts of French Indochina. The Thai government urged the French government to follow international law and make changes to the boundaries of Thailand and French Indochina. The French government kept delaying negotiations, however after the Fall of France in 1940, the French government proposed a peace treaty promising that the French army would not invade Thai territory. The French government did not want to be fighting wars in both its homeland and colonies. The Thai government agreed to sign the treaty if the French agreed to amend the borders and return the vassal states in Laos and Cambodia which were ceded to France during the reign of King Rama V to Thailand.
The French government refused and opened fire across the Mekhong River and sent military aircraft into Thai territory. On 28 November 1940, the French army dropped bombs in Nakhonn Phanom province. The Thai army launched a counterattack and annexed some areas of French Indochina which had been a vassal state of Thailand. The war continued until 28 January 1941. Japan offered to be a middleman to mediate the conflict. In the Japanese-sponsored conference, France agreed to return ceded provinces including parts of Luang Prabang Champassak, Serei Saophoan and Phra Tabong to Thailand. Fifty-nine Thai troops were killed in the war.
After the Franco-Thai war ended, the Thai administration of General Plaek Phibunsongkhram resolved to construct a monument to honour the soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the war and to remind younger generations of their bravery. The monument was named Victory Monument and is situated at the intersection of Ratchawithi Road, Phayathai Road, and Phahonyothin Road which was called Prachathipat Road at the time. The size of the monument is 27,124 square metres. The monument was designed by Mom Luang Poom Malakul. Silpa Bhirasri was the head of the sculptor team.
General Phraya Phahonphonphayuhasena presided over the groundbreaking ceremony held on 24 June 1941 which was also National Day. The opening ceremony was held one year later on 24 June 1942. The opening ceremony was presided over by General Plaek Phibunsongkhram. A parade held by the Thai Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, Public Works unit, Military Youth, Red Cross volunteers and students was held to celebrate the opening.

Value and Significance

เป็นอนุสรณ์รำลึกถึงผู้สละชีพเพื่อชาติจากสงครามต่างๆ ตั้งแต่ พ.ศ. 2483 - 2497

Architectural and Artistic Features

Victory Monument was designed by Mom Luang Poom Malakul and inspired by five key elements:
  1. Operations of the four forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Police)
  2. Brave service of the militia
  3. Armory the military used in the war
  4. The main events leading to the war
  5. Public support
According to Thanu Malakul Na Ayutthaya, Mom Luang Poom Malakul’s son, the Victory Monument design was inspired by the prang of Wat Arun, a Buddhist temple which was the symbol of liberation of Siam from Burmese occupation after the Second Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 and the beginning of the Thonburi period. Wat Arun became one of the most important landmarks in Bangkok. Victory Monument and the prang of Wat Arun share similarities but they also have different elements and details to tell their unique stories.
The shape of the monument’s central obelisk represents the sharpness of the soldier’s weapon and mind. The obelisk is guarded by brave soldiers of the Thai army who fought against the enemy and sacrificed their lives to protect the territory and sovereignty of Thailand.
The five-pointed obelisk represents five bayonets, tied together, with their blades pointing outwards. Its shape is similar to the shape of a star fruit. The obelisk was built with reinforced concrete and the surface decorated with marble. The height from the monument’s base to the tip of the obelisk is 50 metres while the height of the obelisk itself is 30 metres. Inside the base below the obelisk is a hall containing cannonballs and ashes of the soldiers killed in the Franco-Thai War.
On the lower end of the obelisk, are five copper human statues representing five forces: the army, navy, air force, police and civilians. The statues are twice the size of humans. At the base of the monument, a marble tablet with bronze molded letters features inscriptions of the names of the 59 heroes who lost their lives in the Franco-Thai War. The Ministry of Defence later added the names and ashes of heroes who were killed in other wars to the base of the monument.
**807 names of heroes were inscribed on the outer surface of the monument between 1940 – 1954, while 7,297 names of heroes who died in wars since were inscribed on the inner surface of the monument. Not all heroes’ ashes were stored at the monument. (This is the most updated information collected by the War Veterans Organisation of Thailand in May 2015).
The monument is surrounded by a metal fence and plants and flowers. There are eight entrances. The area around the monument is 131 metres wide and 260 metres long and is paved with reinforced concrete. The round base of the monument has a 51-metre radius. Four sets of stairs were built to connect to the upper level of the monument.

Preservation and Restoration

  • 1943 A ceremony was held for a new tablet inscribed with the updated list of heroes who were killed in the Franco-Thai War and the World War II. The ceremony was presided over by General Plaek Phibunsongkhram, the Prime Minister at the time.
  • 1947 The Ministry of Defense restored the monument by installing eight lamp posts, adding names of soldiers killed in battles to the tablets and repairing existing names which were damaged.
  • 1948 The Ministry of Defence held a ceremony to store ashes of 656 late soldiers inside the monument.
  • 1952 Names of soldiers killed in the Korean War were added to the tablet.
  • 2008 The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration renovated the stairs and the roof above the chamber storing the ashes of the late heroes, scrubbed the polished stone walls, painted the chamber walls and repaired the damaged ground around the monument.
  • The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration renovated the hall storing the ashes of the late heroes, and the enclosure by cleaning, repairing and repainting the surfaces.

ตรงกลางอนุสาวรีย์ชัยสมรภูมิเปรียบเสมือนดาบปลายปืนให้เห็นถึงการต่อสู้อันแหลมคมทั้งปัญญาและอาวุธ องค์ประกอบโดยรอบคือทหารหาญแห่งกองทัพไทยที่เข้ารบกับอริราชศัตรูเป็นสามารถ เสียสละเลือดเนื้อและชีวิตเพื่อปกป้องดินแดนอันเป็นราชอาณาจักรไทย รักษาเอกราชของชาติไทย

รอบโคนดาบปลายปืน มีรูปปั้นหล่อทองแดงวีรชน ขนาดความสูงขนาด 2 เท่าของคนจริง ประกอบด้วย 5 เหล่า ได้แก่ ทหารบก ทหารเรือ ทหารอากาศ ตำรวจ และพลเรือน

ที่ฐานอนุสาวรีย์มีแผ่นจารึกทำด้วยหินอ่อน ตัวอักษรหล่อด้วยทองแดง แสดงรายชื่อวีรชนที่เสียชีวิตจากกรณีพิพาทไทยกับอินโดจีนฝรั่งเศสจำนวน 59 นายไว้ และต่อมากระทรวงกลาโหมได้ประกอบพิธีบรรจุอัฐิวีรชนผู้กล้าหาญจากสมรภูมิอื่นๆ และจารึกชื่อเพิ่มไว้ที่แท่นฐานอนุสาวรีย์

ภายในห้องโถงใหญ่มีประตูทางเข้า 5 ด้าน เหนือบานประตูแต่ละด้านมีงานประดับที่มีสัญลักษณ์และความหมายแตกต่างกันไป ล้วนแฝงไว้ด้วยนัยที่เกี่ยวกับชาติ ศาสนา และพระมหากษัตริย์

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