Wat Xieng Thong

Pavel Revenkov
Article By: Pavel Revenkov
13 days ago
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Culture-Temple

The ancient Buddhist temple of 1560 Wat Xieng Thong, with its roofs placed low to the ground and representing classical Lao architecture, is the jewel of the ancient royal city. It is one of the city's most revered monasteries and the city's oldest surviving structure, and it is where Lao monarchs were coronated and state rituals were held. The temple was built in 1560 by Lao monarch Settatirat and remained under royal control throughout the Kingdom of Laos' existence. This wat, like the royal palace, is located near the Mekong. During the sack of the city in 1887, Wat Sieng Thong, along with Wat May Souvannapumaram, received little damage. This was due to the fact that Deo Van Tri, the leader of the "black flags" or "ho," trained as a monk here in his childhood. During the assault, he used the temple as a base of operations. The temple's construction is a perfect example of Luang Prabang's classical temple design, with the roof slopes gradually curling down to practically the ground level. On the rear wall, mosaics on a red background with images of numerous birds and animals captured in silver, lilac, and green colors border the buildings. Inside, golden representations of dharmachakras, or "wheels of dharma," are affixed to the wooden columns that support the ceiling, in addition to wall images. There are several small halls and stupas on one side of the temple that house Buddha images. There is also a reclining Buddha shrine (fr. La Chapelle Rouge - "Red Chapel"), which has a very rare reclining Buddha statue. The fabrication of this one-of-a-kind statue predates the construction of the temple itself. She was moved to Paris in 1931 and exhibited at the Paris Exhibition. Furthermore, until 1964, when it was returned to Luang Prabang, this work of art was held in Vientiane. In front of the statue are several bronze seated Buddhas of various sizes and eras. A 12-meter building for the royal burial carriage lies at the complex's east gate, housing the funeral carriage itself, which is ornamented with a dragon's head, as well as golden urns for members of the royal family. There are monarch dolls in glass boxes here, which were previously used in a spectacular puppet show. The semi-erotic episodes from the Ramayana are depicted in gilded panels on the building's outer walls. The most beautiful temple in Luang Prabang is Wat Xieng Tong, often known as "Golden City" or "Golden Tree Monastery." The temple's ambience of splendor and tranquillity is trembling to its core. It was commonly used as an entrance to the city since it was located on the riverfront where the Nam Khang river tributary joined the Mekong. Pilgrims from Siam, which comprised this region, arrived at the Wat Xieng Tong to complete their journey. It was usual for the king to spend three days in the temple praying and meditating on the eve of his coronation. Wat Xieng Tong was the site of Lao monarchs' coronations and the site of a number of annual celebrations. Photo by AdrieenBe on pixabay.com
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  • Khem Khong, Luang Prabang, Laos
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    Standard 20000.00 KIP
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    Culture 5
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    Education 5
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