Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, Lop Buri - Jim Wageman

Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat was at one time the main temple of the city of Lop Buri, then known as Lavo, regional capital of the Khmer in Thailand’s central Chao Phraya River basin from the early 11th to the late 13th century. In the 17th century, King Narai of Ayutthaya built a palace, Phra Narai Rachaniwet, on the grounds adjacent to the temple, and in subsequent years the king spent many months of each year there. The first several images in this gallery are views within the palace compound, which contained government offices and ceremonial buildings as well as the king’s private residence. The architecture and art of the temple itself, though within the tradition of Khmer architecture at such sanctuaries as Phimai and Angkor Wat, displays a distinctive provincial style—inevitable, perhaps, given Lop Buri’s great distance from the Khmer capital at Angkor.