|Phu Phra Bat Historical
in Udon thani province.
|Thailand has a history of more than 700 years filled with great cultural
achievements. During its long history, the capital of Thailand was
situated in various locations which are used to indicated the different
art eras: Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Thonburi, and Rattanakosin (Bangkok) periods.
|The Thai nation is proud of its ancient monuments and artifacts and
the Historical Parks of Thailand were organized, not only to safeguard,
develop and present to the public these monuments, but to stimulate the
Thai people to realize the importance of their heritage. The first
historical park was developed in Sukhothai more than 30 years ago.
Under the direction of the Fine Arts Department, ten historical parks now
exist in different parts of the country listed below:
1. Sukhothai Historical Park, Sukhothai Province.
|Ayutthaya was the capital of Thailand for 417 years (1350-1767) under
33 monarchs. During this long period, a large number of monuments
were built which were subsequently totally destroyed by the Burmese invasion
of 1767. Consequently, the capital of Thailand was moved to Thonburi
for 15 years and then in 1782 moved to Bangkok the present capital for
more than 200 years.
During Ayutthaya period, the Thai Kingdom flourished it was an important inland and maritime center of trade due to its island location surrounded by the Chao Phraya, Pasak and Lopburi rivers. Descriptions of the affluent and powerful kingdom were recorded by foreign envoys, traders and missionaries, especially by those who visited the legendary Ayutthaya in the late 17th century. Remnants of over 200 ancient monuments located on and around the island capital also attest to the prosperity of the kingdom.
The earliest renovation attempt of Ayutthaya was made during the reign of King Chulalongkorn (King Rama V, 1869-1910) when Phraya Boran Ratchathanin supervised the renovation of a few throne halls in the Grand Palace. For over a century the site had been covered with broken bricks and mortar fragments. Subsequently, other buildings in the palace site and a few important wats were restored. In 1969, the Fine Arts Department started conducting survey projects and, with the cooperation of provincial administration and educational institutes, conservation of archaeological monuments in the area began. In 1976, the project was included in the Fourth National Economic and Social Development Plan and designated as a Historical Park. The renovation of the ancient capital began on a large scale in 1977.
Today, the Historical Park site has numerous public facilities such as the Educational and Tourist Service Centers and the Chao Sam Phraya and Chan Kasem National Museums. In 1994, the City of Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya was included on the World Heritage List for its architectural design.