Founded by King Borommatrailokanat during the 15th century as a state temple, Wat Phra Si Sanphet was later added to by his son, Ramathibodi II, who built two chedis to house the relics of his father and brother. The third chedi was built by Borommaracha IV to house the remains of Ramathibodi II. The site was extended by subsequent rulers until the Burmese sack of 1767. Partially renovated in the 20th century, many of its treasures are now kept in museums.
The Prasat Phra Narai was cruciform in shape. All that remains of it today are the foundations.
The ashes of Ramathibodi II (1491–1529) are enshrined in this chedi, built in the mid-16th century by Borommaracha IV.
The ashes of Borommaracha III (1463–88), the brother of Ramathibodi II, are buried in this chedi.
Entrance to Chedi
The entrance chamber to the chedi is a scaleddown version of a Khmer mandapa (entrance chamber to a Khmer sanctuary). Ayutthayan builders modified many older architectural features, such as Khmer prangs and Sri Lankan bellshaped chedis.
The ashes of Borommatrailokanat (1448–88) are buried in this chedi, the only one to survive the Burmese sack. The other two had to be restored.
A Footprint of the Lord Buddha was housed in this elegant, spired mondop.
Overgrown with weeds and trees until the beginning of the 20th century, Wat Phra Si Sanphet is still a ruin, albeit partially restored. This artist’s impression gives an idea of its glory before it was sacked.
Drawing of Chedis Lying empty after it was sacked by the Burmese, Ayutthaya became the focus of scholarly interest. Henri Mouhot, who drew this image, was one of many late 19th-century visitors. Wat Phra Si Sanphet has been under the protection of the Thai Fine Arts Department since 1927.
Apart from the ashes of kings, caskets of precious Buddha images and royal regalia were buried in the chedis’ central chambers
This door was probably once situated in the entrance to Wihan Phra Si Sanphet and dates from the reign of Rama thibodi II. A collection of such doors is displayed in the Chao Sam Phraya Museum.
Wihan Phra Si Sanphet
The main wihan – the entrance to the wat – once housed the principal Buddha image of Phra Si Sanphet.