Wat Mahathat

     The temple (under a different name) was likely constructed by King Borom Rachathirat I around 1374. Its current name was given during the reign of King Ramesuan (r. 1388-1395).

     Today, the central prang (tower) of the temple is a ruined mass of bricks. It first collapsed during the reign of King Song Tham (r. 1610-1628) and was repaired during the reign of the following ruler, King Prasat Thong (r. 1629-1656). The reconstruction raised the prang to 44 meters and thence to 50 meters when a 6 meter metal spire was added.

     The temple weathered arson attacks during the Burmese invasion of 1767. As late as the early 20th century the prang was in fairly good condition, but it collapsed suddenly during the reign of King Rama VI. Repairs have not been attempted.

     There is no clear historical evidence of this Lord Buddha's head, but It is assumed that when Ayutthaya was defeated by Burmese army in B.E. 2310, the Mahathat temple was set on fire and entirely destroyed and as its result most of the images and parts fell to the ground. The temple was deserted for more that a hundred yearand many trees had grown at the spot covering the head or In B.E. 2500 when the Department of Fine Art undertook restoration might have gathered all the remains but could not complete. Secound assumption is a thief might have tried to steal but due its weight could not carry it across the wall or someone had come to the scene and the thief left it there until the tree covered it as we see at present.