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TRAVEL THAILAND » CENTRAL & WESTERN » History of Lopburi
 
 
History of Lopburi 
 

Lop Buri, formerly known as “Lawo”, was one of the important ancient towns of the Khmers from the 10th – 13th century, is one of several provinces in central Thailand where many significant historical artifacts and prehistoric settlements have been discovered.

During the Ayutthaya period, King Narai the Great established Lop Buri as the second capital with the help of French architects. Most of the architecture of that time reflects the mixture of Thai and Western styles. In fact, relics from as early as the Bronze Age chronicle a history that has seen Lop Buri developed into intriguing city with a blend of both eastern & western influences featuring both ancient and modern attractions.

Most historians believed the first settlers of the town were the Lawa (an ethnic group related to the Mons), which may be the reason for naming the town La-Wo. Around the 10th century the town came under the sovereignty of the Khmers and it became one of their outlying provincial capitals, although some have argued that La-Wo was the capital of an empire that ruled for many centuries until relocating its seat of power to Ayutthaya in the late 11th century. Regardless, Khmer Mahayana Buddhism was a major influence on the town’s architecture, a style that has since been commonly referred to as Lop Buri Style. Remains of Khmer-Hindu architectural motifs found in the city include the Shiva’s Shrine (Prang Khaek), San Phra Kan, Phra Prang Sam Yot, and Wat Phra Si Maha Tat.

In the late 13th century the Thais, who migrated from the North, fought against the Khmers and declared their independence. Since then, Lop Buri has been ruled by Thai Kings. In 1664, King Narai, a King of Ayutthaya, made Lop Buri the second capital with the help of French architects. Therefore, the architectural style of Lop Buri during the reign of King Narai was half Thai and half western and is best appreciated at his Royal Palace and the Royal Reception House.