Historic City of Ayutthaya
and Associated Historic Towns (1991)
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Founded c. 1350, Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai. It was destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century. Its remains, characterized by the prang (reliquary towers) and gigantic monasteries, give an idea of its past splendour.
The kingdom of Ayutthaya existed 1351-1767. The capital, Ayutthaya, was founded by King Ramathibodi I, who absorbed the older Thai kingdom of Sukhothai in the north and destroyed the neighboring Khmer kingdom of Cambodia, forcing the abandonment of the great city of Angkor.
The Ayutthayans also tried to subjugate Chiang Mai, another northern Thai kingdom, but succeeded in controlling it only temporarily. The Ayutthayan kings adopted Cambodian customs and promulgated law codes based on Hindu legal tradition. Conquered by the Burmese in the mid-16th century, the kingdom was reestablished at the end of the century by King Naresuan. The Burmese destroyed Ayutthaya in 1767. The succeeding Thai state established its capital at Thon Buri, across the river from Bangkok.
Ayutthaya (or Ayuthia) is located in southern Thailand, on the Chao Phraya River, near Bangkok. Ayutthaya is an important center of trade and is in a rich rice-producing region. The city served as the capital of Siam (now Thailand) from about 1351 until 1767, when it was sacked by the Burmese and the capital was moved to Bangkok. Several magnificent Buddhist pagodas, built before the Burmese invasion, are still standing, as is a 16th-century palace, built on a nearby island as a summer residence for the king.
Sources and links:
Other World Heritage Sites in Thailand (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section Thailand for further information about such sites.
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Revised 21 jul 2006