Ayutthaya is ancient capital city of Thailand, situated about 76 kilometers, north of Bangkok.
The city itself is surrounded with 3 major rivers, the Lopburi on the north, the Pasak on the east and the Chao Pha Ya on the south and the west.
The kingdom of Ayutthaya had been the capital of Thailand for 417
years between 1350 – 1767 with 33 kings of five dynasties ruling the successive kingdom.
The Early Ayutthaya Period
King U-Thong or King Ramathibodi I was the first king of the kingdom, empowered by his relative states, such as Suphanburi, Lopburi and Sanburi. Ayutthaya was ruled by the
king as absolute monarchy system and feudalism seemed to play an important role through the whole period of the kingdom. The king, with the most power in hand, empowered his relatives and high ranked aristocrasts to look after
the provincial towns far off the city. These cities, on the other hand, being governed by their own rulers, were directly governed and organized by the central government of Ayutthaya.
In the reign, of King
Boroma-tri-loka-nat (1448-1488) the political system of Ayutthaya was reformed. Two powerful administrative ministries were applied and they were used until the last days of Ayutthaya.
The Middle Ayutthaya Period
In 1569, during the reign of King Mahindrathirat, Ayutthaya was beaten by his enemy, the Burmese and it lost its independence for 15 years. The kingdom was free again in 1584,
during the reign of King Naresuan the great when he could drive the Burmese away from the kingdom.
The Late Ayutthaya Period
In the reign of King Narai the great (1656-1688), diplomatic and commercial connection policy with western countries was started. At this time, Ayutthaya could learn more about
new advanced technology from western countries, such as architectural design and new technique of building construction. These can be seen on ancient ruins found both in Ayutthaya and Lopburi.
Suriyat-Amarin or King Eakatat (1488-1767) was the last king of Ayutthaya and it was the second lost of Ayutthaya independence in 1767.
The Thonburi Period
After King Taksin the great had taken liberty back from Burmese, he established the new capital of Thailand in Thonburi, which was on the west bank of the Chao Pha Ya River and he
asked the people from Ayutthaya including from the other places to settle down in Thonburi.
The Rattanakosin Period or The Bangkok Period
When King Buddha Yod Fa Chulaloke, or King Rama I succeeded to the throne of Chakri dynasty he and his youger brother started to establish Rattanakosin city
or Bangkok city in 1692. When the city was nearly completely found, most people both in Thonburi and Ayutthaya integrated to settle down in the new capital city of Thailand while very few were still there. Ayutthaya was left
until in the reign of King Rama V, its deterioration and cultural ruins was renovated. It was the first time to realize the important of cultural ruins in Ayutthaya as ancient monument of the nation until today.
Ayutthaya province looks like a mirror that reflect the picture of the past. Because of its cultural significance as outstanding universal value, Ayutthaya historic city was placed in the World Heritage List on December 13,
1991 at Carthage, Tunisia. Besides the Thai Government had approved the Master Plan for conservation and development the historic city in 1993 and the project was started in 1994.