There were three palaces in Ayutthaya : Grand
Palace, Chanthanrakasem Palace (The Front Palace), and Wang
Lang (The Rear Palace). In additions, there were many other
palaces and buildings for royal visits located outside the
township area of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya such as Bang Pa-In
and Nakhon Luang Building in Amphoe Nakhon Luang.
Currently called "Ancient Palace," the residential palace of every king, was located close to the city wall of Ayutthaya. A road passes by from Chantharakasem Palace which is two kilometers away to the north. The Ancient Palace is open everyday from 08.00-18.00 hrs. Important buildings inside the grand palace compound are :
||WIHAN SOMDET HALL
The front and rear gabled rooms were the largest, with smaller side gabled rooms. It was surrounded by a three-sided cloister and was used for various royal ceremonies such as coronations. This was the first building constructed in Ayutthaya that was ornamented with gold leaves.
|BANYONG RATTANAT HALL
Formerly known by the name of "Phra Thinang Thaisa" it was located in the back compound of the grand palace on an island in a pond. It had a four-gabled roof architecture.
KASEM OR FRONT PALACE
Located on the bank of Me Pa Sak River, this palace
was built during the reign of King Maha Thammaracha,
the 17th Ayutthaya monarch, for his son's residence
(King Naresuan). Like other ruins, the palace was destroyed
by the Burmese and left unrepaired for a long time,
King Mongkut of the present Chakkri Dynasty had it reconstructed
for his residence during occasional visits to Ayutthaya.
Some of the interesting places are:
This wooden pavilion with a four gabled roof is near the east gate of the palace, Originally a residential place of King Mongkut during his visit to Ayutthaya, it later became the "Chantharakasem National Museum," under the responsibility of the Fine Arts Department. It is open everyday except Mondays, Tuesdays and national holidays from 09.00-16.00 hrs. Admission is 30 baht.
This is a group of buildings located amidst the compound
of the palace, which served as government offices and
the Provincial Administrative Building for several years.
This is a four-storey tower located close to the western site
of the palace. It was constructed during the reign of King
Narai the Great, but was razed during the 2nd fall of Ayutthaya.
It was reconstructed according to the original foundation
is the fourth reign of the present dynasty. King Rama IV
used the tower to observe the stars.
PALACE WALL AND GATE
They were constructed by the royal command of King Rama IV.
The original foundation of the palace wall has been found
through excavation, revealing that the original area was much
larger than what is currently seen.
OR THE REAR PALACE
This palace is located closed to the western city wall
of Ayutthaya. It was originally the royal garden. There
was only one residential building in the entire area.
The palace was constructed by the royal command of King
Maha Thammaracha as a residence for his son (King Ekathotsarot).
Now,it has been reformed to Chedi Si Suriyothai.
WAT PHRA SI SANPHET
This important and outstanding monastery is located in the
grand palace compound, like Wat Phra Si Rattanasatsadaram
(Wat Phra Kaeo) of Bangkok. It was used as a residential palace
in the reign of King Ramathibodi I. When King Borom Trai Lokkanat
commanded that new living quarters be built, this residential
palace was dedicated as the royal chapel without monks and
novice inhabitants. It is open everyday from 08.00-18.00 hrs.
Admission is 30 baht. Sanam Na Chakkrawat
WIHAN PHRA MONGKHON BOPHIT
Phra Mongkhon Bophit, a large bronze cast Buddha image. was
originally enshrined outside the grand palace to the east.
King Songtham commanded it to be transferred to the west where
it is currently enshrined and covered with a Mondop. During
the 2nd fall of Ayutthaya, the building and the image were
badly destroyed by fire. The one currently seen is a reconstruction.
The open area northeast of the Sanctuary (Wihan) was formerly
where the royal cremation ceremony took place held at Sanam
Luang, the Phra Men Ground of Bangkok)
This monastery was situated outside the grand palace
compound to the southeast. It was constructed by the
royal command of King Ramesuan on ground where the royal
cremation ceremony for his father, King Uthong,took
place, A big lagoon in front of this monastery was originally
named " Nong Ram Public Pak" Wat Phra Ram
is open everyday from 08.00-18.00 hrs. Admission is
This temple is located in front of the grand palace
to the east near Pa Than Bridge. It was constructed
in the reign of King Borom Rachathirat I. It houses
the holy relics of Lord Buddha. Wat Mahathat is open
everyday from 08.00-18.00 hrs. Admission is 30 baht.
This monastery was located near Pa Than Bridge opposite
Wat Maha That. King Borom Rachathirat II (Chao Sam Phraya)
commanded that two pagodas be built on the ground where
Chao Ai and Chao Yi engaged in single-handed combat
on elephant back, and both were killed. Later, he established
a Wihan combined with the Prang nearby and upgraded
it to a monastery. Wat Ratchaburana is open everyday
from 08.00-18.00 hrs. Admission is 30 baht. (this practice
is now Bangkok)
Uthong, took place, A big lagoon in front of this monastery
was originally named "Nong Sano" latter y
n Phra Ram", and currently "Phra Ram Public
Pak" Wat Phra Ram is open everyday from 08.00-18.00
hrs. Admission is 30 baht.
This ancient monastery named "Wat Sua" is behind Chantharakasem Palace.
The main attractions are two Buddha images : Phra Samphuttha Muni, the principal
image enshrined in the Ubosot, and Phra In Plaeng enshrined in the Wihan : both
were transferred from Vientiane.
SUAN LUANG SOP SAWAN
This monastery is in the west of the city
island. It was build by the royal command of King Maha
Chakkraphat in the royal garden compound adjacent to
the original area of Wat Sop Sawan after the royal cremation
of Queen Suriyothai, A large stupa covered with gold
leaf called "Chedi Si Suriyothai" was built
on the cremation ground as her monument.
Formerly called Wat Thong, this monastery is
located in the southest near Pom Phet, is has been renovated
by almost every king of the Chakri Dynasty, because
it is the royal monastery of the dynasty.
This monastery is behind the grand palace adjacent
to Wat Worachettharam. It is accessible by the road behind the
ancient palace, passing Wat Worapho and Wat Worachettharam.
It has a large reclining Buddha, made of brick and covered with
plaster, approximately 42 meters long. Many large hexagonal
pillars of the Wihan near the image can still be seen.
This monastery is locate on the riverbank opposite
the city island to the south. Constructed in the area
where King Uthong and his subject first migrated for
the establishment of a new city of Ayutthaya, it was
formerly called " Wiang Lek ".
This is another monastery located on the same
riverbank as Wat Phutthaisawan but to the west of the
city island. It was built by the royal command of King
Prasat Thong. The existing main Prang and pagodas around
the corners are still in good shape. Wat Caiwatthanaram
is open everyday from 08.00-18.00 hrs. Admission is
SAM PHRAYA NATIONAL MUSEUM
The museum is located on Rochana Road, opposite the
Tourism Authority of Thailand office. It exhibits various
antiques, Buddha images and famous carved panels. A
receptacle in the Mondop contains the relics of Lord
Buddha and objects of art more than 500 years old. The
museum also has a substantial collection of local artifacts.
It is open everyday except Mondays, Tuesday from 09.00-16.00
hrs. Admission is 30 baht.
HISTORICAL STUDY CENTER
Located on Rochana Road, this center is a national research
institute devoted to the study of Ayutthaya, especially
during the period when Ayutthaya was the capital of
Thailand. The Center is responsible for the museum of
the history of Ayutthaya which exhibits reconstructions
from Ayutthaya's past. The Center also supports an information
service and a library containing historical materials
about Ayutthaya. Open everyday from 09.00-16.30 hrs.
For more details please contact tel. (035) 245123-4,
admission is 100 baht.
The pavilion, utilized as the royal seat to witness
the elephant roundup, is located in Tambon Suan Phrik,
Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. Its appearance is that
of a big cage surrounded by logs having, from the front
center, fencing lines of 45 degrees spread out to both
sides far away into the jungle area. Around the kraal
itself is an eastern wall with bricks to the height
of the top of the logs. Behind the kraal and opposite
the front fencing line is the pavilion housing the royal
seat. The kraal currently seen was renovated in 1988
by the government.
This building is on the east bank of Pa Sak River, Tambon
Nakhon Luang, Amphoe Nakhon Luang. It was used as the
royal accommodation during trips to the Buddha's Footprint
Shrine. It is assumed to have been constructed during
the reign of King Songtham and improved to be a brick
and plaster accommodation during the reign of King Prasat
NA PHRA MEN
The former name of this monastery was Wat Phra Merurachikaram.
It is located on the bank of Khong Subua opposite the
grand palace. The Ubosot design is of early Ayutthaya
style. The most interesting objects are the principal
Buddha image, fully decorate in regal attire, and another
ancient Buddha image made of stone in the small Wihan.
It is open everyday from 08.00-17.00 hrs. Admission
is 20 baht.
Located two kilometers northwest of the grand palace,
this monastery was constructed in the year 1387 during
the reign of King Ramesuan.
Located in front of the railway station to the east,
this old monastery is beautifully decorated, with better
craftsmanship than many other temples.
Located near Wat Kudidao, it was renovated by Chao Phraya
Kosa (Lek) and Chao Phraya Kosa (Pan) during the reign
of King Narai the Great. The main attraction is a large
Prang of a special style.
This monastery, constructed during the reign of King
Uthong, is located outside the city to the southeast
in the same direction as the railway station. One can
see its large pagoda from far away. King Naresuan the
Great commanded that the pagoda be built to celebrate
the victory of his combat on elephant back, He also
intended a huge construction to match Phukhao Thong,
and named it "Phra
Chaimongkhon" It is open everyday from 08.00-18.00
hrs. Admission is 20 baht.
ROYAL FOLK ARTS AND CRAFTS
CENTRE AT BANG SAI
Open every day (no demonstrations on Monday from 08.00-16.30
hrs. Admission is 100 baht tel. (035) 366-091-2. With
an area of 285 rai (14 acres), the Centre is located
in Tambon Chang Yai, Amphoe Bang Sai. Farmers from
Ayutthaya as well as from other provinces can receive
training in folk arts and crafts here. At this centre
you can have a glimpse of how farmers in the four
regions live and work, and how local arts and crafts
are produced. The centre is under the Foundation of
Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques (SUPPORT)
which was established under royal patronage on 21
July 1976. Products and activities which can be seen
here are :
|- Fern basketry
| - Weaving basketry
silk and cotton
|- Silk dyeing
|- Miniature handmade
|- Furniture making
|- Textile products
All the products are sold at the Centre and in every
branch of Chitralada Stores.
In order to get to Bang Sai, one can take a river
cruiser or a bus from the Northern Bus Terminal on
Kampheng Phet Rd. Buses leave every 30 minutes from
05.30-18.00 hrs. Tickets are 25 baht for an air-conditioned
bus and 17 baht for a non air-conditioned bus. By
car, take Bang Sai-Sam Khok Road, which branches off
about 18 kilometers from Bang Pa-In Intersection.
OF INTEREST IN THE ROYAL FOLK ARTS AND CRAFTS
CENTER AT BANG SAI
Sala Phra Ming Khwan (the main building) is a well modified
Thai-style building, a structure with four gable ends.
This four-storey building presents an impressive profile
from its location in the middle of the Centre's grounds.
The ground floor is where arts and crafts products from
the Bangsai Arts and Crafts Centre and other arts and
crafts centres across the country are on sale. The first
and second floors exhibits the outstanding products
of the Bang Sai Arts and Crafts Centre, while the third
floor is to be used as a conference room, and the basement
to be used for storage.
Arts and Crafts
Village combines many traditional houses in
different styles of architecture from all over Thailand.
The village is a permanent place for display and demonstrates
Thai arts and culture, such as way of life, folk shows
Bang Pa-In is one of Ayutthaya's districts. It lies
58 kilometers north of Bangkok by rail, 61 kilometers
by road. Bang Pa-In is famous for its royal palace which
attracts many tourists. Originally, there was a riverine
island. When King Prasat Thong became the Ayutthaya's
king (1630-1655), he had the chumphon Nikayaram Temple
built on his family estate. Later, he had a palace built
in the middle of the island where he could periodically
reside. The palace, surrrounded by a lake 400 meters
long and 40 meters wide, and the Chumphon Nikayaram
Temple are all that remain of King Prasat Thong's construction
work at Bang Pa-In Palace was used as country residence
by every Ayutthaya monarch after King Prasat Thong.
But when the new capital was established in Bangkok,
Bang Pa-In Palace Was deserted for 80 years. It was
only during King Rama IV's reign (1851-1868) that Bang
Pa-In Palace was again visited by kings. King Rama IV
stayed there and had a house built in the old palace
compound. His son, King Rama V (1868-1910) liked the
place, stayed there every year and constructed the royal
palace as it is seen.
Bang Pa-In Island is located 40 kilometers from the
city island of Ayutthaya. To access Bang Pa-In from
Ayutthaya, one can go by Phahonyothin Road and make
a right turn at km. 35 for 7 kilometers to the Bang
Pa-In Palace. It is open everyday between 08.00-16.00
hrs. Admission is 100 baht. For more details, please
contact tel. (035) 261044,261935 freshwater environment.
THINANG (Royal Residence) AISAWAN THIPHAYA AT
(The divine seat of personal freedom)
PHRA THINANG AISAWAN
THIPHAYA AT is a Thai-style pavilion with four porches
and a spired roof built by King Chulalongkorn in the
middle of an outer pond in 1876. It is a copy of the
Phra Thinang Amphonphimuk Prasat in the Grand Palace,
which was built by his father, King Mongkut, as a pavilion
for changing regalia before mounting a palanquin. King
Chulalongkorn named this building Aisawan Thiphaya At
after King Prasat Thong's original pavilion. This pavilion
now houses a bronze statue of King Chulalongkorn in
the uniform of a Field Marshal which was set up by his
son King Vajiravudh (Rama VI).
THINANG (Royal Residence) WAROPHAT PHIMAN
(Excellent and shining heavenly abode)
PHRA THINANG WAROPHAT PHIMAN is a Neo-Classic
style, one-storey mansion built by King Chulalongkorn
in 1876 as his residence and throne hall. The audience
chambers and anterooms are decorated with oil Thai history
and scenes from paintings was commissioned by King Chulalongkorn
is 1888. The private apartments of this building, which
are located in the inner palace section, are still used
by Their Majesties whenever they reside at the palace.
Ho (Tower) W1TI-IUN THASANA (The sages lookout)
The observatory was built by King Chulalongkorn in 1881
as a lookout tower for viewing the surrounding countryside.
This theatre was constructed by the royal command of
King Rama VI in the compound of his consort's living
quarters, near the pond in the garden west of Utthayan
TO QUEEN SAOVABHARK NARIRATANA AND THREE ROYAL CHILDREN
In the year 1887 the Princess
Saovabhark Nariratana, aconsort of King Chulalongkorn,
and three of his children died, so the king had a marble
cenotaph bearing their portaits built for them near the
earlier Memorial to Queen Sunandakumariatana.
RATCHAPRAYUN (Assembly Hall for royal relatives)
As its name implies, this colonial-style two-storeyed
structure was built is 1879 to house King Chulalongkorn's
brothers and their suites.
( Shrine) HEM MONTHIAN THEW ARAT (Golden Palace, king
of the gods)
Ho Hem monthian Thewarat is a small stone structure
in the form of a Khmer-style Prasat (residence of a
king or god with a corncob-shaped supersturcture) built
by King Chulalongkorn in 1880 and dedicated to King
Prasat Thong of Ayutthaya, the literal translation of
Whose name is King of the Golden Palace, because a miniature
Khmer-style Pra sat of Gold was discovered during his
This monastery at the end of the island near the bridge
linking the railway station was constructed by the
royal command of King Prasat Thong in the year 1632. It
was built on his family estate.
Anther monastery outside the island on the southern
side opposite the palace was constructed by the royal
command of King Rama V in the year 1878. Its design,
distinguished from other monasteries, is of Gothic
art and it was of the Thammayutti order of monks.