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 Wat Phra Si Sanphet, nr.10

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Registration date : 04-09-08

BerichtOnderwerp: Wat Phra Si Sanphet, nr.10    wo maa 02, 2011 2:30 am

Bij Wat Phra Si Sanphet betaal je als farang 50Thb entree.
Op deze site staat het volgende er over:

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is situated on the city island in Ayutthaya’s World Heritage
Park in Pratu Chai sub-district. It has been registered as a national historic site by the
Fine Arts Department since 5 March 1935. This monastery was the most important
temple of Ayutthaya and situated within the Royal Palace grounds. It served as a model
for the Temple of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok.

In 1350 Prince U-Thong ordered a palace built in an area called Nong Sano, actual the
area in the vicinity of Bung Phra Ram. The palace contained three wooden buildings
named "Phaithun Maha Prasat", "Phaichayon Maha Prasat", and "Aisawan Maha
Prasat". Upon finalization of the palace in 1351, he established Ayutthaya as his capital
and was bestowed the title of King Ramathibodi I. The original size of the old palace
compound is believed to be the same as the area of Wat Phra Sri Sanphet today.

King Borom Trailokanat, the eighth king of Ayutthaya, built a new palace just north of
the area, adjacent to the old Lopburi River, the actual Khlong Muang, serving that time
as the northern city moat. He converted in 1448 the royal pavilions of his predecessors
into a Putthawat or sacred religious zone.

Although it is not at all that clear. The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya mention that King
Boromracha II, after invading Cambodia in 1431, removed a large number of sacred
images of oxen, lions and other animal creatures from Angkor and on return to
Ayutthaya presented all the images as offerings, some at Wat Maha That and some at
the Phra Sri Sanphet Monastery. This indicates that at the fall of Angkor, Wat Phra
Sri Sanphet was already in existence and occupied a prominent place.

King Ramathibodi II’s first act after his throne ascendance in 1491 was to cremate the
remains of his father King Borom Trailokanat (r. 1448-1488) and his elder brother King
King Boromracha III (r. 1488-1491). In 1492 King Ramathibodi II built two chedi: the
chedi to the east was to store the ashes of his father; the chedi to the west (the actual
middle one) was for his older brother.
“In 861, a year of the goat, the holy Preaching hall of the Phra Si Sanphet
Monastery was founded.”

In 1499 a hall of worship called “Vihara Luang” (Royal Chapel) was built on the
grounds. The next year King Ramathibodi II gave orders for a gigantic image, of Buddha
to be cast, and installed in Wat Sri Sanphet. This image, representing Buddha in a
standing posture, was 16 meter high, and the pedestal was 8 meter in length. The statue
was named after the temple. The head was 2 m long and 1.5 m wide, while its chest was
5.5 m wide. The bronze core weighted close to 64 ton while its surface was covered
with 343 Kg of gold and took more than three years to complete. It was said that it was
the largest and nicest standing image of Buddha recorded as having ever existed in the
world. This statue, called “Phra Sri Sanphetdayan”, became the main object of
veneration in the royal chapel.

On Friday, the eleventh day of the waxing moon of the eighth month, in 865, a year of
the boar, the Holy and Glorious Omniscient One, the image of the lord Buddha, was
dedicated. The dimensions of that image of the Lord Buddha were eight wa in height
from the feet to the tip of the flame, four sok in length for the face by three sok in width,
and eleven sok in width at the chest. The bronze for casting the image of the Lord
Buddha weighed fifty-three thousand chang, and the pure gold for gilding weighed two
hundred and eighty-six chang. For the front of the image the gold was of seven nam and
two kha quality, and for the back of six nam and two kha.

I would like to let history speak with an account of a visit to Wat Sri Sanphet by the
French Jesuit Guy Tachard during his stay in Ayutthaya in 1685. His account can be read

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, being part of the royal palace, was exclusively used by the
Ayutthayan Kings. No clergy was allowed to reside on the grounds, with exception of an
occasionally invitation to pray and to perform ceremonies such as the taking of an oath of
allegiance for royal officers and for preaching and merit-making by the King. The
expansion of the temple caused the moving of the Buddhist center from Wat Maha That
to Wat Phra Sri Sanphet.

The temple enshrined also the Phra Buddha Lokanat (Protector of the World) and the
Phra Buddha Palelai. Ashes of the members of the royal family were placed in small
chedi constructed at the site.

The third chedi was built by King Boromracha IV (r. 1529-1533) to house the remains
of King Ramathibodi II.

The Greek cross-shaped viharn at the west side of the temple was added during the reign
of King Narai. It is not clear if the square mondop structures adjacent to the chedi were
built around this time or later.

On the eve of the Burmese invasion, the central portion of the temple included three
gilded chedis, three gilded mondops (square buildings adjacent to the chedis that held
objects of worship), and two very large viharns.

When Ayutthaya fell in April 1767, the Burmese sacked and burned the monastery to the
ground. All but the chedis were completely destroyed. Buddha images were taken away
and from the larger ones, the gold was melted. The Buddha image Phra Palelai in the
southern chapel was completely destroyed.

The partially restored ruin includes all the buildings that survived the sack of 1767. In the
early twentieth century only the eastern chedi was still standing. The rest was restored,
although the two main vihara were not reconstructed. Little more but portions of the
base, remain of the mandapas.

The Burmese melted the gold coating from the statue of Phra Sri Sanphetdayan, leaving
the bronze core of the image badly damaged. King Rama I of the Chakri dynasty
removed the statue to Bangkok in pieces for restoration, together with the remaining Phra
Lokanat image which was kept in the northern chapel. The statue was however too
seriously damaged to be recast into its former state. He installed the bronze core of Phra
Sri Sanphetdayan in a chedi at the time of the founding of Wat Phra Chetupon better
known as Wat Pho. The 45 meter high chedi has been called “Phra Chedi Sri
Sanphetdayan”. Phra Buddha Lokanat was placed inside the eastern chapel at the same
temple. Both of them remain in Bangkok up to this day.

Dit is nr.10 op de Tourist Map.
De lokatie is: 14° 21' 20.04" N 100° 33' 28.92" E

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