The Kingdom of Siam had its capital in Ayutthaya from 1351 to 1767 and developed a wealthy city full of palaces and temples. Today it is the ruins of that mighty era that beckons the visitors.
The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.
- Full name of site: Historic City of Ayutthaya
- Country: Thailand
- Date of Inscription: 1991
- Category: Cultural site
UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 0576:
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.
I came here in 2015 on a short visit to Thailand, and an hour or so drive from Bangkok. This means of course that the once prosperous city receives a lot of tourists on day excursions from the present capital; deservedly so. There is more to Ayutthaya than a pile of bricks. Not only tourists wander among the Buddha statues, the temples, the stupas and the trees inside the island-like surroundings of the ancient capital.
The same river that flows through Bangkok flows here as well. The worshippers are Thai, not only tourists. It is a living centre of Buddhist worshipping. And the heritage site is worth exploring on a longer visit than just a few hours, if you want. Read more on my blog entry about the visit.