Sue Wolfe

About this spot
Wat Mahathat (Temple of the Great Relics) is located in the center of old Ayutthaya, the second capital of the Siamese kingdom. It is believed to be one of the oldest temples. Not only did it house the Buddha’s holy relic, it was near the Grand Palace making it an important monastery.

Wat Mahathat was set on fire when the Burmese invaded and destroyed Ayutthaya in 1767. The entire monastery is in ruins but thanks to excavations by the Fine Arts Department, the crypt of the central prang has been discovered. The find unearthed several relics and precious objects including a solid gold lion. You can see the artifacts on display in the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum on the island.

Ayutthaya was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 1991.

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