The Fall of a Kingdom

Wat Phra Si Sanphet seen through the window of a ruined temple

Ayutthaya was the capital city of ancient Siam and the center of the Ayutthaya kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767. King Ramathibodi I of the Uthong dynasty founded the capital city and later brought the city of Sukothai into the kingdom. Within those four centuries the nation of Siam prospered in a Golden Age expanding its borders to what is now roughly modern day Thailand.
Today the once glorious capital of a golden kingdom stands in ruins and among the burnt walls and countless decapitated Buddha images, pain can still be felt. From a distance large piles of rubble, as well as maroon and black colored facades of

(where the remains of three kings of the period still remain) decorate the horizon of a once proud kingdom that rivaled the likes of Rome.
At the peak of its Golden Age in the mid-eighteenth century, a time when the arts and education flourished, the kingdom began getting involved in several border conflicts. The kingdom of Ayutthaya fought with the Nguyen lords of South Vietnam over control of Camobodia around 1715 but the greater threat came from the west.
The growing Alaungpaya dynasty from Burma became a growing concern. In 1765, the kingdom of Ayutthaya was invaded by two Burmese armies and after a long and bitter siege with few victories for the Thais; the city of Ayutthaya was finally burned and ransacked in 1767.

Decapitated images of Buddha

Now all that is left of the beautifully ordained hallways, precious bookshelves, and holy Buddha images, are ruins of a time forgotten. Eerie spirits and decapitated images of Buddha line a multitude of burnt and still crumbling temples such as the Khmer style Wat Chaiwatthanaram.
After the invasion, the country went into complete chaos, but luckily a Chinese invasion of Burma distracted the Burmese and a Thai military officer named Phraya Taksin took over the country and founded a new capital south of the Chao Phraya; known today as Bangkok.

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