Wat Mahathat (1374 onward)
Wat Mahathat was once the home of the Supreme Patriarch, a powerful religious force in Ayutthaya. The temple (under a different name) was likely constructed by King Borom Rachathirat I around 1374. Its current name was given during the reign of King Ramesuan (r. 1388-1395).
Today, the central prang (tower) of the temple is a ruined mass of bricks. It first collapsed during the reign of King Song Tham (r. 1610-1628) and was repaired during the reign of the following ruler, King Prasat Thong (r. 1629-1656). The reconstruction raised the prang to 44 meters and thence to 50 meters when a 6 meter metal spire was added.
The temple weathered arson attacks during the Burmese invasion of 1767. As late as the early 20th century the prang was in fairly good condition, but it collapsed suddenly during the reign of King Rama VI. Repairs have not been attempted.
Aasen, Clarence. Architecture of Siam: A Cultural History and Interpretation.
Cummings, Joe. Thailand.
Dorling Kindersley Travel Guides. Thailand.
Rutherford, Scott. Insight Guide: Thailand.
All images copyright 2003 by Professor Robert D. Fiala of Concordia University, NE