- Completed by King Mindon in 1857, the Mandalay Palace's layout was similar to that of the previous royal residence at Amarapura. It was surrounded by a moat and an eightmeter-( 26-foot)-high square wall made of brick, each side of which is about two kilometers long. Twelve gates piercing the wall are topped with wooden tiered-roof structures or spires ( pyatthat in the Burmese [Myanmar] language). The wall and moat remain intact today. The interior buildings were made of teak, including the royal palace itself, the hall where the Hluttaw met, and religious buildings. The palace design reflected the Indo-Buddhist concept that the king's abode was the "center of the cosmos," and a seven-tiered pyatthat was built over the central throne room, representing Mount Meru. During Mindon's reign, as many as 5,000 persons lived within the palace precincts.Following the Third Anglo-Burmese War, the British took over the palace, renaming it Fort Dufferin. The queen's reception room was used for a time as a British social club. During World War II, Japanese forces made it their headquarters, and most of the buildings were burned down in Allied bombings in 1945. The State Law and Order Restoration Council built reproductions of some of them in the 1990s and cleaned up the moat, a massive task, using forced labor.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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