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King Bhumibol Adulyadej's 82 birthday 14 of ??
- Chitralada Palace.
Once King Chulalongkorn's summer residence, Chitralada Palace stands in about 1 sq. km (247 acres) of grounds incorporating several artificial lakes. At each corner of the park is a fountain adorned with Late Baroque figures drawn from mythology, evidence of the cultivated taste of Thailand's rulers.
Chitralada is hardly a typical royal residence; visitors, were they to be granted access, would be reminded more of an agricultural research station. The palace indeed doubles as a sort of experimental farm, aimed primarily at boosting the income of rice growers in the north by providing fish stock. The royal fish ponds are therefore much more than just a hobby. There is also a beef-rearing unit and an experimental dairy.
As befits their status, the famous royal "white elephants" also have their quarters at the palace, where they are taken after first spending some time in Dusit Zoo. King Bhumibol now owns more albino elephants than any of his predecessors; never before have so many been presented to a monarch in the course of his reign.
The moat around the grounds made headlines during the unrest in 1973 when student demonstrators sought, and found, refuge inside the palace railings.