The French Embassy, one of the first diplomatic missions established in Thailand, was initially established as a consulate in 1857, after the signing of a treaty of friendship and commerce between France and Siam. The land was first made available to French diplomats by King Mongkut (Rama IV) in 1857. Then King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) decided to give this property to France in 1875. The building which now houses the Residence of France was modified several times after this donation: among others a porch and a veranda were added. During the 1st part of the 20th century, it was regularly mulled to either sell this land to settle further east, like many embassies at the time, towards Sathorn and Witthayu, or even in Ploen Chit where France had acquired a very large piece of land, or to destroy this aging building to build a more modern one. Heads of mission like the writer Paul Morand defended the current location. In 1930, a referendum was even organized by Charles Arsène Henry, then at the head of the legation, with the French community, to rule definitively on this project of moving which was unanimously rejected by the French of Thailand, attached to this location. After the 2nd World War, the building, which had not been maintained for several years, was in such a state of disrepair that renovation work had to be organized in 1947 and then in 1952, at the time when the legation’s rank was elevated to embassy’s rank in 1949. The last extensive renovation work was undertaken from 2000 to 2002. The photograph displayed on the main entrance gate gives an overview of the current state of the Residence of France. This historic monument contrasts with the contemporary architecture of the new building which houses the offices of the French Embassy, completed in 2015. The Residence of the Ambassador is open to the public each year in September during European Heritage Days.
Here are some photographs of The Residence of France taken in 2021.