The Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay is the most important monument in Mandalay and certainly the most beautiful teak construction in Myanmar and possibly the world. This building has an unusual history. Originally built in what was the capital of the Konbaung dynasty founded by King Mindon (Amarapura) before following the court when the king decided to transfer the capital to Mandalay. It must be said that initially, this monastery was the royal palace. It was much larger at the time. This whole large architectural complex was therefore dismantled, transported over a dozen kilometers and reassembled in the new royal city of Mandalay.

When King Mindon died, his son decided to turn this palace into a monastery in memory of his father. But superstition gave rise to fear of ghosts, and the new king couldn't help but think that the old palace was haunted by his father's spirit.

So he decided to move it once more, outside the royal city.

During the Second World War, the Japanese occupiers found it very much to their liking and established their headquarters there. The British did not need much more to bomb it in 1945. These bombings largely destroyed the building and even if what remains standing today is absolutely magnificent, it is only a tiny part of the original palace. 


translation of comments in the film: minute 00:48: The Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay is also called the Golden Palace Monastery. Originally this monastery was located in the ancient capital Amarapura and was the royal palace. The palace was moved to Mandalay in 1857.

On the death of King Mindon, his son transformed the palace into a monastery in memory of Mindon. Fearing that the spirit of the dead king would haunt the monastery, his son had it moved once again, outside the royal city.

It served as headquarters for the Japanese during World War II and was largely destroyed by fire in British bombing raids in 1945.

Only the current buildings which only represent a part of the initial monument escaped these fires.


about the place, Mandalay:

Located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, Mandalay is Myanmar's second city after Yangon (Rangoon). Founded in 1857 by King Mindon, Mandalay became the capital of the Konbaung dynasty in place of Amarapura.

It was also the last royal capital of Burma before annexation by the British in 1885. However, it remained a leading commercial and cultural center during the British era.

The city was devastated during the conquest of Burma by Japan in World War II and it became part of the newly independent Union of Burma in 1948.


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Mandalay, Myanmar