Ayutthaya, The Historic City of Thailand
Watch and share the 360-degree virtual reality tour of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thailand.
Ayutthaya is a city in Thailand, about 80 kilometres north of Bangkok. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Siam, and a prosperous international trading port, from 1350 until razed by the Burmese in 1767. The ruins of the old city now form the Ayutthaya Historical Park, an archaeological site that contains palaces, Buddhist temples, monasteries, and statues. The park is on an island between 3 rivers.
At the centre of Ayutthaya City is Ayutthaya Historical Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the most visited site in the area. Here, the four spectacular temples of the early Ayutthaya period (1350 – 1529) stand amongst a dense canopy of ancient trees. West of it is the site of the Royal Palace and Royal Chapel (Wat Phra Si Sanphet) – the political and spiritual heart of the lost kingdom.
Apart from touring Ayutthaya’s history and temples, your visit can be filled with something more recent in terms of the cultural contexts such as the Ayodha Floating Market, Krirk Yoonpan’s Million Toys Museum, Ayutthaya Boat Museum or the Bang Sai Royal Folk Art and Crafts Center.
The History of Ayutthaya
In the 16th century, it was described by foreign traders as one of the biggest and wealthiest cities in the East. The court of King Narai (1656–1688) had strong links with that of King Louis XIV of France, whose ambassadors compared the city in size and wealth to Paris.
By 1550, the kingdom’s vassals included some city-states in the Malay Peninsula, Sukhothai, Lan Na and parts of Burma and Cambodia. This part of the kingdom’s history is sometimes referred to as the “Ayutthayan Empire”.
The Historic City of Ayutthaya is well-known from historical records. As one of the world’s largest cities of its time and a major political, economic and religious centre, many visitors recorded facts about the city and their experiences there. The Siamese Royal Court also kept meticulous records; many were destroyed in the sack of the city, but some have remained and are an important source of authenticity. The same can be said for the testimony of works of art, wall painting, sculpture, and palm leaf manuscripts that survive the period.