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: ظ Discovering Ayutthaya ˹ 62-65
     ҭԷ ɵ óҸԡ



ٻҾẺͧз觨ҡ :
˹ѧ Ayutthaya World Heritage

ٻҾẺͧз(͹) ҡ :
ʶҺѹظ֡ ԷҪѯйظ



The Ancient Palace


The borders of the Ancient Palace connect to Wat Phra Si San Phet in the south, Khlong Muang (Lob Buri River) in the north and opposite Wat Na Phra Mane. The front of the palace was the royal ground in front of Chakkrawat Phraichayon Hall or called Sanam Luang which was used to muster troops. In the east, there was Wat Thammikarat, Beung Phra Ram and enclosures for horses lined up along the road in front of the Palace. The back of the Palace turned to the west with a canal and a road which was obstructed by a line of elevated ground to intervene the double layers of city wall with 4 meters high. There were also footpaths for guards on the walls.


The area of the Ancient Palace was divided into 3 parts:


The Hall in the outer area
Chakkrawat Phaichayon Hall
King Prasat Thong built this Hall in 1632. It was a three-storey building located over the city wall in the southeast at the edge of the Royal Ground. The King used this hall to watch troops in parades and some royal entertainments.
The Halls in the middle area of the Palace


Wihan Somdet Hall


This Hall was located in the south of Sanphet Prasat Hall. The roof of this hall was decorated in a unique style of architecture (called prang) with five prang covered with lead. The tops of the prang were covered with lead and gold leaves. This Hall was built to replace Mangkhala Phisek Hall in the reign of King Prasat Thong due to being attacked by thunderbolt in 1643, together with the storehouse and 110 royal houses accompanying the Hall. The Hall was commissioned rebuilding and was finished in one year. It was used to conduct royal ceremonies, for example, coronation of the king, tonsure ceremony of royal children, and etc. In the reign of King Boromakot, there was grand renovation of this Hall by changing all upper parts of it. Prince Thammathibet, Krom Phra Ratchawang Boworn or Prince of the front palace was commissioned to renovating the Hall. The renovation lasted 10 months, and was finished in 1742.


Sanphet Prasat Hall


King Boroma Tri Lokanat commissioned constructing this hall. It is the middle building of the three ones arranging in row from east to west. This hall has five-leveled roof. The top roof was covered with lead and gold leaves. The kings used it as the palour in granting audiences to royal guests, such as receiving the royal envoys from Portuguese in the reign of King Ramathibodee 2, receiving the royal envoys from Cambodia in the reign of King Phet Racha, and receiving the royal envoys from Langka in the reign of King Boromakot.


Sanphet Prasat Hall was also used for coronation ceremonies of King Phet Racha, King Suea, King Thai Sa and King Uthumphon in honour of their victory, the coronation ceremony of King Ekkathat, and performing the tonsorial ceremonies of many princesses in King Phet Rachas reign. The hall was renovated in King Boromakots reign by changing all the upper parts of the hall and covered them with gold leaves.


Suriyat Amarin Hall


Suriyat Amarin Hall was believed to be built in King Narais reign. It was built and located on an old halls area called Benja Rattana Maha Prasat Hall which was built in King Boroma Tri Lokanats reign. Suriyat Amarin Hall was a four-faced building lying down from east to west. In the north and the south, there were short porticos sticked out. The hall was built with bricks covered with cement, measuring 50 meters in height. The top of the building was made in the figure of the god Brahma shaded with five-leveled parasol. All of the roof timbers were covered with gold leaves. The roof was covered with tiles made of tin. A royal throne was placed in the middle of the hall. King Narais royal corpse was also situated in it. The name of the hall was also used as the other name of King Ekkathat, the last king of Ayutthaya period. The upper parts of this hall were mainly renovated in the reign of King Boromakot, and another time, in the reign of King Ekkathat. Finally, the hall was all destroyed by the Burmese troops in the war with King Along Phaya.
The painting showing Suriyat Amarin Hall supported by Major General Pichit Khajornklam
Buildings in the inner area of the Ancient Palace:


Banyong Rattanat Prasat Hall


King Phet Racha commissioned constructing this hall in 1687. It was located in the area of ladies of the court at the end of the Ancient Palace, and used as the residence of many kings: King Phet Racha, King Thai Sa and King Boromakot. The hall was located on a small island surrounded by a pond, measuring 12 meters in width. The outer area of the hall was surrounded by a wall with 2.5 metershigh. Four porticos were sticked out on the four sides of the hall. The top of the hall was made like a pointed stupa with figures of the god Bhramins faces on top. The roof was covered with tiles made of tin. In the middle of the front pond, there was a small pavilion for monks preaching about the stories of the last existence of Buddha which was held every year. In the middle of the east pond, there was an open-aired pavilion, used for observing stars in the sky. In the middle of the south pond, there was a pavilion used for scattering popped rice for fish in the pond, and in the middle of the west pond, there was a big basin with a modeled mountain and an artificial water fall. Banyong Rattanat Prasat Hall was mainly renovated in the reign of King Boromakot.


Trimuk Hall


Trimuk Hall was constructed, but the time it was built was unknown. The hall was left only the remains of its base. In the reign of King Chulalongkorn, the fifth king of Rattanakosin period, he commissioned building a pavilion called Trimuk to arrange a ceremony to worship the former kings on his 40th anniversary of his reign in 1908 which was in the same length of time as King Boroma Tri Lokanats of Ayutthaya period.
Besides the three main halls and the four minor halls, there were a lot of halls inside the Ancient Palace according to the testimony by Ayutthaya people and that of Khun Luang Hawat. They were residences of the royal families, government sectors and various kinds of buildings: the building of royal letters, Sala Lukkhun (the rest-house for juries), Ho Tri (building where Buddhist scriptures were kept), habitations for elephants and horses, buildings for royal vehicles, and buildings for canons. All the buildings were decorated with patterns covered with gold leaves, with holes sticked with pieces of glass or dyed in red color. There were also models in figures of many animals both from imagination and from real nature. The area was also decorated with many kinds of plants in gardens, and in many ponds. After Ayutthaya was destroyed in 1767, the Ancient Palace was deserted. Later, a lot of bricks in the old palace were transferred to Bangkok to build the new capital Krung Thep Thawarawadee or Bangkok (Krung Thon Buri and Krung Rattanakosin).


Song Buen Hall


This hall was at the end of the palace in the west. It was located next to Banyong Rattanat Prasat Hall. The time of its construction was unknown. Song Buen was used as the hall for the kings of Phu Luang Dinasty to go out for granting audiences to officials. The kings of this Dinasty liked to stay at Banyong Rattanat Prasat Hall and went out for granting audiences to officials at this Hall. When King Boromakot was very ill, he assigned the throne to prince of the front palace (Kromakhun Pornphinit); and died at Song Buen Hall.


King Tak Sin once used to stay at this hall when he had victory in a war with Sukee, head of a troop at khai Pho Sam-dton (a camp called pho Sam-dton). Due to the ruins he saw, the king decided to move the capital to Thon Buri and used it as the center of Thai political affairs instead of Ayutthaya. The king also dreamt that the former kings did not want him to stay in Ayutthaya.

References
Kasetsiri, Chanwit, editor. (n.d.). Discovering Ayutthaya, pp. 62-65.
Pictorial illustration of the halls models from: a book Ayutthaya World Heritage.
Pictorial illustration of the halls models (moving) from: Ayutthaya Study Institute,
Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya Rajabhat Univerity.