Located in the south of the famous Shwemawdaw Paya, Kanbawzathadi Palace is one of the famous historical sites preserved and restored in large scale in Myanmar.
The golden palace was constructed by King Bayinnaung (1551-1581 A.D.), the founder of the second Myanmar Empire in 1556. The original included 76 apartments and large hall where placed a brilliant throne. After King Bayinnaung's death, the rebellion of conquered kingdoms along with rebels ravaged kingdom and burned down the palace in 1599. However, the Myanmar government decided to rebuild Kanbawzathadi Palace in 1990 and completed in mid 2003 for the purpose of preserving the historical relics and cultural tradition of Myanmar. The ingenious restoration process has returned to its splendid appearance and former glory, even more gorgeous than in the past because of only the brick foundations kept. Among them, The Settaw Saung Room, the Lion Throne Room and the Bee Throne Room – its main rooms were also rebuilt almost entirely.
The palace is designed in a U-shaped with prominent central peak. Visitors will be amazed at the sophisticated structure painted with brilliant gold. There are 20 gates leading into it so inner space is bright and airy. The inside of palace is decorated with statues, paintings, sculptures and especially a number of artifacts representing ancient cultures Myanmar displayed in the small octagon-shaped museum as well as scattered in the palace, such as glazed tiles, pots, some weaponry, Golden Throne, Royal Coach of King Bayinnaung and so on. Actually, almost all real artifacts are now preserved in the National Museum in Yangon. However, they are still worth to replay the luxury and regal life of Myanmar royal at that time. Excavations of The Archaeological Department on 25th April 1990 discovered many teak pillars, some with inscriptions. They are the remainder of 171 teak pillars – the gift of leaders of towns, villages, Shan Chiefs and other important figures which once stood in the Royal Audience Hall.
The space outside palace is filled with green grass and trees, making spectacular landscape. The right side has a small pond reflecting blue sky. With romantic scenery, Kanbawzathadi Palace is is very suitable for picnics or wedding photoshoot. At the entrance, there are some staffs collecting entrance fee. If visitors pay more money, they will be ready to tell some stories about the palace, the king and the history of Myanmar under King Bayinnaung‘s reign.
Tourists will regret if Kanbawzathadi Palace is not a part of the Bago tours. Let explore it to learn the history and culture of the ancient capital of Mon Kingdom.