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Chao Sam Phraya National Museum
Operating day: Wednesday - Sunday
Operating time: 09.00 - 16.00
Located at Tambon Pratu Chai, on Rotchana Road opposite Rajabhat University Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya. The construction of this museum was funded by the proceeds from the sale of votive tablets discovered in the underground crypts of the principal Prang tower of Wat Ratchaburana.
Since the temple was built by King Borommarachathirat II (Chao Sam Phraya), the museum was named after him. The opening ceremony of this museum was held in 1961 and was presided over by Their Majesties the King and the Queen. It was the first museum in the country to present a new form of exhibition, displaying not too many objects in an interesting presentation. There are 3 exhibition buildings as follows:
Building I Downstairs exhibits artefacts unearthed from the archaeological excavations as well as restoration of ancient monuments in the province during 1956 – 1957, including Buddha images of the Dvaravati, Lop Buri and Ayutthaya periods. The ones put on exhibition include an alabaster Buddha image seated in the European style of the Dvaravati period once enshrined in a niche of an old stupa at Wat Phra Men in Nakhon Pathom province.
The images was originally broken in fragments which were taken to different places but eventually retrieved and reconstructed by the Fine Arts Department. This is a priceless Buddha image, as there are only 6 of its kind in the world; 5 in Thailand and 1 in Indonesia. In Thailand, 2 of them are now at Wat Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom, 1 at the Bangkok National Museum in Bangkok, 1 at the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and 1 at Wat Na Phra Men in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya.
There is also an immense bronze head from a Buddha image of the U Thong period discovered at Wat Thammikarat. This head of the Buddha image indicates how old the temple is as well as how fine the ancient craftsmanship is in casting huge objects. Intricate wood carvings of the Ayutthaya school are exhibited here, as well.
Upstairs Two rooms are allocated for golden items. Room I exhibits golden miniature regalia and ornaments discovered in the crypts of the principal Prang tower of Wat Ratchaburana in 1957, with a highlight being the golden sword known as Phra Saeng Khan Chai Si.
The blade of the iron sword has 2 cutting edges cased in a golden sheath decorated with traditional Thai designs inlaid with precious gemstones, and a handle made from quartz crystal. Room II houses an exhibition of golden offerings discovered in situ in the crypt of the principal Prang tower of Wat Mahathat where a golden reliquary containing the Lord Buddha’s relic was enshrined. The balcony exhibits votive tablets and plaques made of terra-cotta and pewter (an alloy of tin and lead; lined with copper) of the Sukhothai, Lop Buri and Ayutthaya periods, discovered in the crypts of the Prang towers of Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Mahathat and Wat Phra Ram.
Building II exhibits artefacts and objets d’art of different periods from the 6th – 19th century; namely, Dvaravati, Sri Vijaya, Lop Buri, Chiang Saen, Sukhothai, U Thong, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin for comparative study purposes. Important items include Buddha images in various gestures, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, Ganesha, etc.
Building III is a complex of traditional Thai houses of Central Thailand built in the middle of a moat exhibiting household equipment and utensils in the ancient daily life of the Thai people such as pottery, coconut graters and various basketworks. These folk items reflect the glorious past of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.
The museum is open on Wednesdays – Sundays and national holidays during 9.00 a.m.– 4.00 p.m. and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is 150 Baht each. A package ticket valid for 30 days is also available at 180 Baht each, covering admission to Wat Phra Si Sanphet and the Ancient Palace Complex, Wat Mahathat, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Ram, Wat Chai Watthanaram, Chao Sam Phraya National Museum and Chantharakasem National Museum. For more information, please contact Tel. 0 3524 1587.
How to get there
By Car From Bangkok, enter the city of Ayutthaya, cross the King Naresuan the Great Bridge and go straight ahead for 2 junctions, the museum will be on the right.
Tel : 035241587
Category: Art, Culture and Heritage
Last Update : 10 YearAgo