Ayutthaya aerial photo by CyArkCyArk
Over 700 years ago, the city of Ayutthaya was the political and economic capital of the Kingdom of Siam. The port city gained its power thanks in part to its prime location, nearby the major rivers of Chao Phraya, Lopburi River and Pa Sak. It remained powerful for centuries.
Ayutthaya buddha statue by CyArkCyArk
Its people were never short of water so they could produce an abundance of rice. Waterways also created trade routes perfect for exporting their produce, salt, dried fish and in some cases their religion - Buddhism. Ancient Ayutthaya was filled with Buddhist temples
Take a look at this 360-panoramic image of the three Chedis of Wat Phra Si Sanphet, known as the holiest temple in Ancient Ayutthaya. The chedi is a Buddhist place of prayer, and are typically designed like the ones in this photo – in a bell-shaped form.
Ayutthaya columns by CyArkCyArk
The city was a dominant trade power until 1767 when it was attacked and burned to the ground. Many of Ayutthaya’s wooden structures were completely lost to the fire.
Ayutthaya model reconstruction by CyArkCyArk
Those that survived were made of stone. City planners and architects made an ambitious plan to rebuild the city. A conscious effort was made to maintain the integrity of the original structures. The new capital was moved to Bangkok.
Ayutthaya scaffolding by CyArkCyArk
The ancient capital of Ayutthaya is now a peaceful archaeological park that is run by the Thai Fine Arts Department.
Ayutthaya school group by CyArkCyArk
Today, it’s a popular tourist attraction. Locals and visitors from around the world come and, with a bit of creativity, imagine what it was like in its glory days 300 years ago.