Ayutthaya (city)

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Ayutthaya (Thailand)
Coordinates 14 ° 21 '  N , 100 ° 35'  E Coordinates: 14 ° 21 '  N , 100 ° 35'  E
coat of arms
coat of arms
Basic data
Country Thailand


Residents 53,290 (2012)
Website www.ayutthaya.go.th (Thai)
mayor Somsong Sappakosonlakul
Sunset in Ayutthaya historical park

The city of Ayutthaya (official name Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya , Thai : พระนครศรีอยุธยา , IPA : [ pʰráʔ na.kʰɔ̄ːn sǐː ʔa.jút.tʰa.jāː ]) is the capital of the Thai province of Ayutthaya in the central region of Thailand . It is located in the administrative district ( Amphoe ) Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya . Ayutthaya has the administrative status of a " big city " (Thesaban Nakhon) and in 2012 had 53,290 inhabitants.

Ayutthaya was the capital of the Siamese Kingdom of Ayutthaya from 1351 to 1767 and the most important metropolis on the Southeast Asian mainland in the 18th century . The ruins of the old town, which was destroyed and abandoned in 1767 after a Siamese-Burmese war , are now protected as Ayutthaya Historical Park , are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are the city's most important attractions.


Ayutthaya is located on an island at the confluence of three rivers: Mae Nam Chao Phraya , Mae Nam Pa Sak and Mae Nam Lop Buri , about 70 kilometers north of the capital Bangkok . In the 14th century the city was still near the coast of the Gulf of Thailand , as a result of centuries of sediment formation , it is now about 100 kilometers away from the coast.


Depiction of the city of Ayutthaya around 1665, by the cartographer Johannes Vingboons

After an early foundation by the Khmer prince extended U Thong the city and made it in the year 1351 the capital of his kingdom after being on the run from a chicken pox epidemic from Lop Buri had fled here. Ayutthaya was already a serious power at the beginning of the 15th century. This was followed by a period of more than 400 years under the rulers of Ayutthaya. A total of 35 kings ruled more or less large areas of Siam and steadily expanded the capital.

Sanphet Prasat (Royal Palace), model in Ancient City, Bangkok

European merchants have also come to the city since the 16th century and report enthusiastically about the splendor and splendor of the architecture. In its heyday, Ayutthaya was a cosmopolitan city with three royal palaces, 375 temples and 94 city gates, which were protected by 29 defensive forts. The French, Portuguese, British, Dutch and Japanese lived in their boroughs apart from the capital's roughly 1 million Siamese. The Europeans had their own churches, of which St. Joseph's Cathedral from the 18th century is still preserved.

The wealth was based on the rich harvests of the fertile central plain as well as on taxes and duties levied on trade and transport. Trade relations existed with China , Java , Malaysia , India , Ceylon , Persia , Japan , Portugal , France , Holland and England . The enormous development in architecture, painting and literature illustrates the prosperity. Gold was a widely used metal, used as gold leaf in bookbinders , paintings and entire buildings (many chedis, for example, were gold-plated).

Initially protected by earth walls and palisades, it was fortified with a brick wall around 1550. It was able to withstand several sieges by the Burmese in the course of history before it was conquered, looted and almost completely destroyed on April 7, 1767. Ayutthaya did not recover from this catastrophe, 15 years later King Rama I (Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok) founded the new capital Bangkok (or its historical center Rattanakosin ) about 80 kilometers downstream, copying the structure and important buildings of the old capital (including the Great Palace ) and even used stones from ancient Ayutthaya to continue the power and fame of the former metropolis.


Wat Phra Si Sanphet
Buddha statue in Wat Na Phra Men
  • Chao Sam Phraya National Museum: Museum in the middle of the old town with valuable objects that were found in Wat Ratchaburana (see below), as well as carved votive tablets and Buddha statues .
  • Ayutthaya Historical Study Center : The modern building was designed by Thai and Japanese architects and is used for historical research on the history of Ayutthaya. There is also a museum and a library with relevant literature.
  • Chandra Kasem Palace : from the 16th century , served as the residence of King Naresuan the Great
  • Wang Luang (also Old Palace): former palace complex from the time of King Borommatrailokanat (1448–1488), the Trimuk Pavilion can still be visited today
  • Wat Mahathat was built many years before the city was founded. It was the ritual center of the city. The current ruins are from the restoration commissioned by King Prasat Thong. The 46 m high Prang is one of the most impressive buildings in the old capital.
  • Wat Na Phra Men (written: Nah Pra Meru ) is across the river from the royal palace. In Viharn Noi there is an impressive sitting Dvaravati- style Buddha statue . The main Buddha statue in the Ubosot is ascribed to King Prasat Thong (mid 17th century), it is a seated statue "in royal regalia" (see Buddha statue (Thailand) ).
  • Wat Phanan Choeng : Temple with one of the largest ancient Buddha statues in the country
  • Wat Phra Ram : from the 14th / 15th centuries Century with an elegant chedi
  • Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is the most beautiful temple ( wat ) in the city. It is located directly south of the former palace grounds. Its three large chedis , which house the ashes of King Ramathibodi II and his father from the 15th century, are the symbol of Ayutthaya. The associated viharn and the mondops were destroyed by the Burmese. One of the two 10 m tall standing Buddha statues , the Phra Buddha Lokanart , was restored by King Rama I. It is now in the eastern viharn of Wat Pho in Bangkok .
  • Wat Phu Khao Thong : with a chedi that the Burmese King Bayinnaung had built after the first conquest of Ayutthaya in 1569
  • Wat Ratchaburana : Temple complex built during the reign of King Chao Sam Phraya ( Borommaracha II. ) With a very harmonious prang , whose crypt is accessible (stucco work, wall paintings in the crypt). The gold finds from the crypt, above all a kneeling elephant, can be admired in the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum.
  • Wat Suwan Dararam : royal temple from the late Ayutthaya period
  • Wat Yai Chai Mongkon : very old temple complex with a chedi from the time of King Naresuan (1590–1605)


Ayutthaya has a station on the railway line coming from Bangkok, which serves the traffic of the Northern Railway and the Northeast Railway of the Thai State Railway with the final destinations Chiang Mai , Nong Khai and Ubon Ratchathani .

sons and daughters of the town

  • Prasat Thong (1599–1656), King of Ayutthaya in Thailand
  • Pridi Phanomyong (1900–1983), Prime Minister of Thailand
  • Rama I (1737–1809), King of Siam, founder of the Chakri dynasty, which is still ruling today
  • Songtham (1590–1628), King of Ayutthaya in Thailand
  • Taksin (1734–1782), King of Thailand (r. 1768–1782)
  • Thawan Thamrongnawasawat (1901–1988), Thai politician and Prime Minister
  • Apiwich Phulek (* 1988), Thai soccer player


  • Sven Trakulhun: Siam and Europe. The Kingdom of Ayutthaya in Western Reports 1500–1670. Laatzen 2006, ISBN 3-86525-252-4 .

Web links

Commons : Ayutthaya  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Ayutthaya  - travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. Population statistics 2012 . Department of Provincial Administration. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  2. ^ David K. Wyatt : Thailand. A short history. 2nd edition, Silkworm Books, Chiang Mai 2004, p. 129.
  3. Maurizio Peleggi: Thailand. The Worldly Kingdom. Reaction Books, London 2007, p. 31.