Ayutthaya historical park (อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์พระนครศรีอยุธยา), Thailand

The Ayutthaya historical park (อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์พระนครศรีอยุธยา) covers the ruins of the old city of Ayutthaya, Thailand. The city of Ayutthaya was founded by King Ramathibodi I in 1350 and was the capital of the kingdom Ayutthaya until its destruction by the Burmese army in 1767.

In 1969 the Fine Arts Department began with renovations of the ruins, which became more serious after it was declared a historical park in 1976. The park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. 35 kings ruled the Ayutthaya kingdom during its existence. King Narai (1656 CE to 1688 CE) not only held court in Ayutthaya but also from his palace in the nearby city of Lopburi, from where he ruled 8–9 months in the year.

The city lies at the confluence of three rivers: the Chao Phraya, Pa Sak (or Nam Pasak) and Lopburi. By digging an additional channel, the city was completely surrounded by waterways. Many European nations, including the Dutch VOC had in this once prosperous city trading posts.

Ancient temples (called “wat”) and palaces are located in the area of Ayutthaya. One of the most important is the Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. This royal temple, built in 1448 and restored twice, stood within the walls of the Old Royal Palace. The temple is guarded by three chedis. Of the royal palace itself is nothing left.

South of the temple is the modern Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit. This complex houses one of the largest bronze Buddha statues from Thailand. Near here, on the edge of the Phra Ram Park, is the Wat Phra Ram temple, built in 1369 by King Ramesuen. Also the ruined temples of Wat Phra Mahathat, dating from 1374 in the park. The Wat Ratchaburana, located north of Wat Phra Mahathat, dating from the 15th century.

One of Ayutthaya’s best preserved temples is ‘Wat Na Phra Meru’, located on the north bank of the Lop Buri River. Approximately 1 kilometer west lies the Phu Khao Thong, a chedi from 1745. On the eastern bank of the Pasak is the Wat Choeng Phanan, with a 19m high Buddha statue, dating from the 14th century.

In 2011, this park was also affected by the floods, also hit 84 other provinces besides Ayutthaya province.