Ayutthaya: former glory lives in memory
Ayutthaya was the second capital of Siam (Thailand) for 417 years from 1350 until it was burned to the ground by Burmese forces in 1767.
Thirty-five kings ruled the kingdom during its existence, which had been cited by some estimates as the biggest city in 1700.
In 1969, the Fine Arts Department started renovation work on the ruins, which was declared a historical park seven years later in 1976.
Parts of the city was officially declared by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991, under criteria III as an excellent witness to the period of development of a true national Thai art.
The World Heritage Site covered 289 ha of the central and western part of Ayutthaya island. The included sites comprised Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Mahathat, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Wat Phra Ram and Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bopit.
Areas outside the island was not covered by World Heritage Sites, which include Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, Wat Phanan Choeng, Wat Chaiwatthanaram and Wat Phu Khao Thong.
It is among the most popular daytime tour destinations and located only 75 km north Bangkok. Some 3.2 million tourists visited the site in 2014 (60% are foreigners and 40% Thais).
This UNESCO World Heritage Site, was damaged by the flood that hit hard on Thailand in 2011. A total of 157 historic monuments were affected.
The Fine Arts Department in April 2013, 18 months after the flood, announced that 80% of renovations in the old capital have been completed.
Tourism started to recover, and fully recovered.
Ayutthaya, was the second capital of Siam (Thailand) for 417 years from 1350 until its occupation by Burma in 1767. A total of 35 kings ruled the kingdom during its existence, which had been cited by some estimates as the biggest city in 1700.
King Narai Palace, Lopburi (nearby Ayutthaya)
King Narai was king of Ayutthaya from 1656 to 1688. His reign was the most prosperous period in Ayutthaya’s history that saw a remarkable increase in diplomatic activities with foreign nations including the Persians and the West.