Wat Suthat's construction was initiated by Rama I in 1807 following his relocation of the Siamese capital from the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River to Rattanakosin Island, now a part of Bangkok. Construction of the temple would span the period of the following two monarchies as well. It was completed in 1851, towards the end of the third reign, that of the king Nangklao. Its importance to the kingdom may be gauged by the fact that it was located at what was at the time the center of the new capital.