Town of Luang Prabang (1995)
Lao People's Democratic Republic

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Lao PDR 1999. Luang Prabang. Vat Xieng Thong.

Lao PDR 1999. Typical building of Luang Prabang.

Luang Prabang is an outstanding example of the fusion of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures with those built by the European colonial authorities in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Its unique, remarkably well-preserved townscape illustrates a key stage in the blending of these two distinct cultural traditions. 

Luang Prabang, or Louangphrabang, is a city in Laos; it was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. The city of Luang Prabang is located in north central Laos, on the Mekong River about 425 km north of Vientiane.  Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital, the seat of the kingdom of Laos. The city is the capital of the Louangphabang Province. 
  • UNESCO (France) 2006. City of Luang Prabang. 

UNESCO (France) 2006. City of Luang Prabang.

Kingdom of Laos 1970. Luang Prabang. Vat Xieng Thong.

  • Kingdom of Laos 1970. Vat Xieng Thong. 
  • Lao PDR 2000. Souvenir sheet. Promotion of tourism. Temples in Luang Prabang. The temple lower left is Vat Xieng Thong. 

Lao PDR 2000. Souvenir sheet. Promotion of tourism. Temples in Luang Prabang.

There is a large number of sights worth while in Luang Prabang, among those depicted on stamps are Wat That Luang, and Wat Xieng Thong, both important Buddhist Temples. 

Kingdom of Laos 1972. Air Post Stamp. Luang Prabang. Religious festival at That Luang. Kingdom of Laos 1969. Luang Prabang. That Luang. Lao PDR 1990. Luang Prabang. That Luang.

Lao PDR 1998. Luang Prabang. Emerald Buddha.

Lao PDR 2000. Luang Prabang. Phousy Stupa.

Muang Sua was the old name of Luang Prabang following its conquest in 698. A.D. by a Tai prince, Khun Lo, who seized his opportunity when Nan-chao was engaged elsewhere. 

Khun Lo had been awarded the town by his father, Khun Borom, who is associated with the Lao legend of the creation of the world, which the Lao share with the Shan and other peoples of the region. 

 Khun Lo established a dynasty whose fifteen rulers reigned over an independent Muang Sua for the better part of a century. 

  • Lao PDR 1998. Emerald Buddha. 
  • Lao PDR 2000. Phousy Stupa. 
In 1707, the old kingdom fell apart and Luang Prabang became the capital of the independent Luang Prabang kingdom. When France annexed Laos, the French recognized Luang Prabang as the royal residence of Laos. 

Eventually, the ruler of Luang Prabang bacame synonymous with the Figure-head of the French Protectorate of Laos. When Laos achieved independence, the king of Luang Prabang, Sisavong Vong, beame the head of state for the Kingdom of Laos.  

  • Kingdom of Laos 1952. Air Post Stamp. UPU-emblem and portrait of King Sisavang Vong. The Kingdom of Laos was admitted to the UPU on 13th May 1952. 

Kingdom of Laos 1952. Air Post Stamp. UPU-emblem and portrait of King Sisavong Vong.

Sources and links: 

Other World Cultural Heritage Properties in Laos (on this web site). For more information about the individual properties, please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Laos-section.

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Revised 24 feb 2007  
Copyright 1999 Heindorffhus
All Rights Reserved