Wat Phra Si Sanphet

      The royal palace was located here from the establishment of Ayutthaya in the reign of King Ramathibodi I (1350 A.D.) to the reign of King Sam Phraya (1448 A.D.) Later, King Borommatrailokanat ordered a temple (wat) to be built on this site in 1448 A.D. to be utilized as a monastic area.

      After the reign of King Borommatrailokanat, his son King Ramthibodi ll, ordered the construction of two pagodas (chedis). One of them was to house the remains of his father and the other those of his brother, King Borommarachathirat lll. Another pagoda was built by the order of King Borommarachanophuttangkun. It was similary used to house royal remains those of King Ramathibodi ll.

      In 1499, a principal Viharn (hall of worship) was built. The following year, in 1500 A.D., King Ramathibodi ll, commanded the casting of a standing Buddha image 16 meters in height and covered with gold. This image, Phra Buddha Chao Si Sanphet, was the main object of veneration in the royal Viharn. After that time the ashes of members of all royal family members and other the kings were placed in small chedis constructed at the site.

      Wat Phra Si San Phet was a royal chapel and as such did not have a Sangavasa (no monks dwelt there). It was used for royal ceremonies and rituals including giving alms to the monks from other temples, and performing the WianTian ceremony on Buddhist holy days, which entails circumambulating the Viharn three times at night holding an offering of a candle, flowers and incense.

      When Ayutthaya was sacked in 1767 A.D. the gold that had covered the Buddha image and other decorations was taken by the invaders. During his reign King Rama l (1782 1809 A.D.) of the Ratanakosin Period ordered the transfer of the inner core of Phra Buddha Chao Si Sanphet from Ayutthaya to Wat Phra Chetuphon, Bangkok, and had it placed in a chedi specially built for the purpose. Another Buddha image of importance called Phralokanat was also brought to this wat at around the same time.

      The remains of ceramic water pipes were found In the grounds of Wat Phra Si Sanpeht, testimony to the architectural and cultural advances in the reign of King Narai the Great.