Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (city)

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City Municipality
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Official seal of Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya is located in Thailand
Coordinates: 14°20′52″N 100°33′38″E / 14.34778°N 100.56056°E / 14.34778; 100.56056Coordinates: 14°20′52″N 100°33′38″E / 14.34778°N 100.56056°E / 14.34778; 100.56056
Country Thailand
Province Ayutthaya
 • Type City municipality
 • Mayor Somsong Sappakosonlakul
 • Total 14.84 km2 (5.73 sq mi)
Population (2006)
 • Total 54,888
 • Density 3,700/km2 (9,600/sq mi)
  Registered residents only
Time zone ICT (UTC+7)
Area code(s) 035

Ayutthaya (full name Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thai: พระนครศรีอยุธยา, pronounced [pʰráʔ na.kʰɔ̄ːn sǐː ʔa.jút.tʰa.jāː]; also spelled "Ayudhya") is the former capital of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya province in Thailand. Located in the valley of the Chao Phraya River, the city was founded in 1351[a] by King U Thong, who went there to escape a smallpox outbreak in Lop Buri and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom, often referred to as the Ayutthaya kingdom or Siam. Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai.[1] It is estimated that Ayutthaya by the year 1600 CE had a population of about 300,000, with the population perhaps reaching 1,000,000 around 1700 CE, making it one of the world's largest cities at that time,[2] when it was sometimes known as the "Venice of the East".[3][4]

In 1767, the city was destroyed by the Burmese army, resulting in the collapse of the kingdom. The ruins of the old city are preserved in the Ayutthaya historical park,[5] which is recognised internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins, characterised by the prang (reliquary towers) and gigantic monasteries, give an idea of the city's past splendour.[6] Modern Ayutthaya was refounded a few kilometres to the east.


Ayutthaya is shown in the Fra Mauro map of the world (approximately 1450 CE) under the name "Scierno", derived from the Persian "Shahr-I-Naw", meaning "New City"[7]

Ayutthaya is named after the city of Ayodhya in India, the birthplace of Rama in the Ramayana (Thai, Ramakien); phra (from Khmer: ព្រះ Preah) is a Thai royal and noble title; nakhon designates an important or capital city (from Sanskrit: Nagar); the Thai honorific sri or si is from the Indian term of veneration Sri.


The city is about 40 miles (64 km) north of Bangkok.[8]

Ayutthaya Town Centre[edit]

The city is located at the junction of the Chao Phraya, Lopburi and Pa Sak rivers, and on the main north-south railway linking Chiang Mai to Bangkok. The old city is on an island formed by a bend of the Chao Phraya on the west and south sides, the Pa Sak on the east side and the Klong Muang canal on the northern side.

The approximate centre of the old city is 14°20′N 100°34′E / 14.333°N 100.567°E / 14.333; 100.567.

In fiction[edit]



a The city was founded on Friday, the 6th day of the waxing moon of the 5th month, 1893 Buddhist Era, corresponding to Friday, 4 March 1351 Common Era, according to the calculation of the Fine Arts Department of Thailand.[11]


  1. ^ "Historic City of Ayutthaya - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  2. ^ George Modelski, World Cities: –3000 to 2000, Washington DC: FAROS 2000, 2003. ISBN 978-0-9676230-1-6. See also Evolutionary World Politics Homepage.
  3. ^ "Ayutthaya, Thailand's historic city". The Times Of India. 2008-07-31. 
  4. ^ Derick Garnier (2004). Ayutthaya: Venice of the East. River books. ISBN 974-8225-60-7. 
  5. ^ "Ayutthaya Historical Park". Asia's World Publishing Limited. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  6. ^ "Historic City of Ayutthaya". UNESCO. Retrieved 2011-09-22. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Bellamy, Patrick. "The Hunt." Hambali: Mastermind of Terror. Crime Library. Retrieved on March 17, 2014.
  9. ^ Mortal Kombat (Laser disc) Audio Commentary, UPC: 014381302165. 
  10. ^ "The Buddha Statue". Retrieved 2011-12-18. 
  11. ^ Rotchanaratha, Wina, ed. (1999). Prachum Phongsawadan Chabap Kanchanaphisek Lem Nueng ประชุมพงศาวดาร ฉบับกาญจนาภิเษก เล่ม ๑ [Golden Jubilee Collection of Historical Archives, Volume 1] (in Thai). Bangkok: Fine Arts Department of Thailand. p. 211. ISBN 9744192151. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stefan Halikowski Smith, Creolization and Diaspora in the Portuguese Indies: The Social World of Ayutthaya, 1640-1720 (Leiden, Brill, 2011) (European Expansion and Indigenous Response, 8).

External links[edit]