Ayutthaya is an island city in the center of Thailand founded
in 1350. This city flourished for more than 400 years, and at its peak,
supported hundreds of thousands of residents. Surrounded by the Chao Phraya,
Lopburi and Pasak rivers, it was easily accessed for trade by foreigners in
centuries past. The Portuguese, Dutch, French, Indians, Chams, Malays, and
Japanese all regarded this city highly for the gold, silk and spices found here,
and some cultures, like the Portuguese and Japanese built permanent communities.
Canals, natural and man made still exist to this day for transport of goods.
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In 1991, Ayutthaya was designated as a World Heritage Site for
having historical and architectural merit with outstanding universal value.
The photos speak for themselves.
Wat Mahathat was a royal monastery and served as the seat
for the head of the Buddhist monks.
Ransacked and burned to the ground in 1767, it still
remains in ruins.
During the Burmese invasion many Buddha images were
plundered or broken.
This Buddha face is said to have been placed here by a
thief to be retrieved later.
However, since it was never collected, this bodhi tree's
roots eventually grew around it.
Pra Bhuddhasaiyart, reclining Buddha: the position Buddha
took when he passed from this world.
Wat Yai Chai-mongkal escaped much of the pillaging of
Wat Chaiwatthanaram was besieged by Burmese invaders and
became an army camp.
Later, the Wat was completely abandoned.
Looting, the decapitation of Buddha images and the selling
of brick from the Wat became common practice.
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A Buddha image that escaped the rampage.
Although in ruins, some Wats are well groomed with
Another reclining Buddha at Wat Yai Chai-mongkol.
Elegant grooming, stunning ruins.
Peace and Majesty of the Wat
Buddha in the pose of receiving Enlightenment, The Earth as
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Worn pathway at Wat Mahathat
Although in ruins, the immensity of these structures is clearly visible.
Relics of the Buddha were found in the stupa located here
at Wat Mahathat.
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