Ayutthaya The City of Gorgeousness
ancient city of Ayutthaya, formally designated Phra Nakhon
Si Ayutthaya was the Thai capital city 417 years ago,
and is one of Thailand's major tourist attractions.
Ayutthaya province is relatively small at 2,557 sq.km. and
is easily accessible due to good road, rail and river connections
and its proximity to Bangkok, Stradding the Chao Phraya River,
the nation's principal waterway, the province is extremely
important, as it was the Siamese capital for four centuries.
The city of Ayutthaya is 76 km. north of Bangkok and boasts
numerous magnificent ruins from its days as the capital. Just
to the south, in perfect condition, stands the royal palace
of Bang Pa-In set in splendid gardens. The province is also
noted for H.M. the Queen's Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre.
Many ancient ruins and art works can be seen in a city that
founded in 1350 by King U-Thong when the Thais were forced
southwards by northern neighbours. During the period when
Ayutthaya was capital, 33 kings and several dynasties ruled
the kingdom, until the glittering city was sacked by the Burmese
in 1767, ruined and abandoned.
The extensive ruins and the historical records demonstrate
that Ayutthaya was one of Southeast Asia's most prosperous
cities. In recognition of its historical and cultural importance,
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Historical Park, the location of
the ruins adjacent to today's city, was declared a UNESCO'S
World Heritage site in 1991.