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The Ancient City
|State||Samut Prakan Province|
|Date established||11 February 1972|
|Creator||Lek and Praphai Viriyahphant|
Ancient Siam is dubbed as the world's largest outdoor museum. Close to the Crocodile Farm in Samut Prakan Province, the 320-hectare "city" features 116 structures of Thailand's famous monuments and architectural attractions. The grounds of Ancient Siam correspond roughly to the shape of the kingdom, with the monuments lying at their correct places geographically. Some of the buildings are life-size replicas of existing or former sites, while others are scaled down.
The replicas were constructed with the assistance of experts from the National Museum to ensure historical accuracy. Outstanding works include the former Grand Palace of Ayutthaya (destroyed in the Burmese invasion of 1767), Phimai Sanctuary in Nakhon Ratchasima, and Wat Khao Phra Viharn on the Cambodian border.
Lek Viriyaphant was interested in art since childhood, which inspired him to establish the Ancient City. Initially, he intended to build a Thai map-shaped golf course where miniatures of important national ancient sites were placed, which aimed to serve tourism and education purposes only.
Lek started doing research on the establishment of the Ancient City. He found that many ancient sites had been left in decay. Thus, he changed the concept of the Ancient City from being a tourism attraction and relaxation to an open-air museum for education purpose to benefit newer generations who would be proud of their national heritage.
In 2006, America's Next Top Model, Season 6, the reality show from the US, has led the contestants to the finals by using the Pavilion of the Saint as a runway. It was a model platform that was the largest in the show's history. In the area, Sanphet castle model was the place where the winner was announced.
On 29 September 2009, 500 activists from the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protested at the model of the Preah Vihear Temple in Ancient Siam. They claimed that the temple belonged to Thailand although the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague had ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia.
Architecture by timeline
The Ancient City displays significant architectural achievements from different eras. They are arranged chronologically.
- Dvaravati (11th-16th centuries BE)
- Srivichaya (13th-18th BE)
- Khmer or Ancient Khmer (16th-18th BE)
- Lanna (16th-25th BE)
- Lan Chang (16th-21st BE)
- Hariphunchai (17th 19th BE)
- Sukhothai (17th-20th BE)
- Authong (17th-20th BE)
- Ayutthaya (19th-24th BE)
- Thonburi (24th BE)
- Rattanakosin (25th BE)
In the park
Map of the ancient city
List of replicas
|Replica from Original||Reconstructed Original||Creative Design|
|The Royal Stand||A Monk's Residence||Khun Chang Khun Phaen Garden|
|Phra That Chom Kitti, Chiang Rai||The Hall of Wat Nimit, Trat||Dvaravati Wihan|
|The Fruit Shape Tower (Prang Mafuang), Chai Nat||The Shrines||The Information Pavilion|
|The Wihan at Wat Phumin, Nan||The Thai Hamlet from the Central Plains||The Garden of Sacred Stupa|
|The City Wall and Gate||The Shrine housing the City Pillar||I-Nao Garden|
|The Footprint of the Lord Buddha, Saraburi||The Old Market Town||The City Sala|
|Phra Chedi Sri Song Rak, Loei||The Scripture Repository||The Yamaka Patiharn|
|Prasat Sadok Kok Thom, Sa Kaeo||The Bell Tower||The Manohra Garden|
|The Mondop housing the standing footprints of the Lord Buddha, Uttaradit||The Palace Garden||The Garden of Phra Aphaimani, Rayong|
|The Ancient Theatrical Pavilion||The Floating Market||The Courage of the people of Bang Rachan|
|Prang Sam Yod, Lop Buri||The Anthropological Museum||The Krai Thong Garden|
|The Wihan of Wat Pho Kao Ton, Sing Buri||The Wihan at Wat Phrao, Tak||Sala of Ten Reincarnations|
|Phra That Bang Phuan, Nong Khai||The Meditation Retreat||Sumeru Mountain|
|The Stupa of Phra Maha That, Nakhon Si Thammarat||The Thai-Songdam Village||The Garden Of The Gods|
|The Old Sea Wall at Chachoengsao||Wat Chong Kham, Lampang||The Reclining Buddha|
|The Pallava Group of Images, Phaug-Nga||The Wihan at Sa-Moeng, Chiang Mai||Sala of 80 Yogi|
|The Garden of Pha Daeng-Nang Ai] (Rocket Festival characters)||The Wihan of Wat Chiang Khong, Chiang Rai||Mondop of Bodhisattva Avalokitesavara (Kuan-Yin)|
|The Red Block Fort, Chanthaburi||The Water Hall||Bodhisattva Avalokitesavara (Kuan-Yin) performing a miracle|
|The Stupa of Phra Maha That, Chaiya, Surat Thani||The Northern Thai Village||The Buddha Image of Dvaravati Period|
|The Gateway of Wat Pho Prathap Chang, Phichit||The Lotus-Bud Flower|
|Phra That Narai Cheng Weng, Sakon Nakhon||Sala of Ramayana|
|The Lan Chang styled Scripture Repository and Wihan||Phra That Mondop|
|The Tiger King's Palace, Phetchaburi||The garden of the Prince of the Golden Conch|
|The Prang of Wat Chulamanee, Phitsanulok||The Botanical Garden of Thai Literature|
|Phra That Phanom, Nakhon Phanom||The Great Battle of Yuthahathi|
|The Giant Swing and Brahmin Temple||Pavilion of the Enlightened|
|The Sukhothai Wihan||Monument of Krom Phra Ratchawang Boworn Maha Surasinghanat|
|Prasat Phra Wihan (Preah Vihear), Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia||An Image of Hindu Deity with a Mitred Crown|
|The Audience Hall of Thonburi||The Rainbow Bridge|
|The Dvaravati House||Phra Lo's Garden, Phrae|
|The Bench of Public Appeals, Sukhothai||Pavilion of Recallection|
|Prasat Hin Nong Ku, Roi Et||The Buddha image being protected by the seven headed Naga|
|Phra That Ya Khu, Kalasin||Thai Junk|
|The Grand Hall of Wat Maha That, Sukhothai||Sala 24 Katanyu (Pavilion of the Icons of Gratitude)|
|The Prang at Si Thep, Phetchabun||Sala Kong Beng (Zhuge Liangs Pavilion)|
|Ku Khu Maha That, Maha Sarakham||Mondop Phra Si Thit|
|Khun Phaen House||The Ramayana Garden|
|Noen Prasat, Sukhothai||The Octagonal Sala|
|The Main Chedi of Wat Maha That, Sukhothai||The Churning of the Ocean|
|Three Pagoda Pass, Kanchanaburi||The Phra Kaew Pavilion|
|Dusit Maha Prasat Palace (The Grand Palace)|
|Ho Kham, Lampang|
|The Chedi of Cham Thewi, Lamphun|
|The Wihan at Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Ayutthaya|
|The Stupa of Wat Phra That Sam Muen, Chaiyaphum|
|Sanphet Prasat Palace, Ayutthaya|
|Chedi Chet Yod, The Seven Spired Pagoda, Chiang Mai|
|The Phanom Rung Sanctuary, Buriram|
|The Chom Thong Palace Hall, Ayutthaya|
|The Kam Yaad Palace Hall, Ang Thong|
|Prasat Sikhoraphum, Surin|
|The Phimai Sanctuary, Nakhon Ratchasima|
- Sanctuary of Truth
- Erawan Museum
- List of museums in Thailand
- List of museums and art galleries in Bangkok
- "HISTORICAL TIMELINE". Ancient City Group. Retrieved 2018-06-07.
- Muang Boran, In the Ancient City (Bangkok: Muang Boran Publishing House, 1980).
- Muang Boran, Muang Boran: A Nostalgic Look (Bangkok: Muang Boran Publishing House, 1988).
- Penny Van Esterik, Materializing Thailand (Oxford: Berg, 2000), pp. 114–118.
- ยุคสมัยทางศิลปะ. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2017, from http://ancientcitygroup.net/ancientsiam/th/historical-timeline/
- About us. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2017, from http://ancientcitygroup.net/ancientsiam/th/acontent/21.html
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