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Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya(prä näkôn` sē), city (1990 pop. 61,185), capital of Ayutthaya prov., S central Thailand, on the Chao Phraya River. It is the trade center for a prosperous rice-growing region. Ayutthaya was the capital of a Thai kingdom founded c.1350 and was located on the site of a Khmer settlement. Destroyed by the Burmese in 1559, it was rebuilt by the Siamese in the late 16th cent. but was again devastated by the Burmese in 1767, after which the capital was moved to Thon Buri and then to Bangkok. Ayutthaya has some of the few monuments of early Siamese civilization, notably the royal palace (16th cent.) and numerous temples and pagodas.
(official name, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya), a city in Thailand. Administrative center of the province of Ayutthaya. Located at the confluence of the Pa Sak River and one of the branches of the Menam Chao Phraya River on an island intersected by canals. Population, 36,000 (1965).
Ayutthaya is a shipping station on a railroad main line and on water routes. It is a commercial center for the rice-growing region of the Menam Valley. Ayutthaya has rice polishing, distilling, and fish and vegetable canning enterprises. There are artistic handicrafts (colorful fans and niello) and fishing. In Ayutthaya there are annual traditional boat races.
The city was founded in 1350 as the capital of the state of Ayutthaya, which included most of Thailand and part of modern Burma, Malaysia, and Cambodia. During the 16th and 17th centuries Ayutthaya was the most important center for trade between India and the Far East. Trade declined in the 18th century as a result of competition from the Dutch East India Company. The city was destroyed in 1767 by the Burmese and rebuilt in the 19th century.
The city’s 14th- through 18th-century ruins include foundations of palaces and remains of temple compounds with bell-like stupas (phra chedi) crowned with high spires, tower-like sanctuaries (phra prang) richly decorated with carving, and assembly halls. The temple ruins include Wat Phra Ram, Wat Lokayasudha with a stone statue of a sleeping Buddha, and Wat Radjaphurana (1424), with fragments of paintings.