The European-style façade of Kalawar Church
When Bangkok was made the capital of Thailand in the 1700s, the Portuguese, who at the time claimed Western supremacy, were given land and built Catholic churches and European-style mansions by the river. Their embassy is still there, and another of their surviving constructions is this church.
It dates from 1787, but the current structure is from 1898, after a fire burned down the original wooden building. It’s a neo-gothic church and features some of Thailand’s best examples of stained glass.
The name derives from the Portuguese “Calvário,” the site of Jesus’ crucifixion. In English it’s known as Holy Rosary Church.
Illustrating Bangkok’s religious tolerance, it’s not unusual to see Buddhist monks inside the church, admiring the architecture.
Inside Kalawar Church
Opening times: 6am-9pm
How to get to Kalawar Church
Take the Chao Phraya Express boat to the Marine Dept. pier. The church is less than a 5-minute walk from there.