Luang Prabang

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Luang Prabang

a market town in N Laos, on the Mekong River: residence of the monarch of Laos (1946--75). Pop.: 26 400 (2003 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Luang Prabang

 

a city in Laos, situated on the left bank of the Mekong, at the mouth of the Khan River, at an elevation of 350 m. It has a tropical monsoon climate with a dry period, an average January temperature of 22°C, and an average July temperature of 27.3°C. The mean annual precipitation is 854 mm. Population, 22,600 (1967). The city is the economic and cultural center of Laos. It has a landing and an airport and is connected by a highway with Vientiane, the administrative capital, and with the port of Vinh in Vietnam, on the Gulf of Tonkin. It is also a center of trade (rice and lumber materials), forestry industries, and handicraft production.

The city was founded in the 14th century as Muong Swa, the capital of the Laotian principality of the same name. It was the capital of the Laotian state of Lan Xang from 1353 to 1563 and was renamed Luang Prabang-in the early 15th century. From 1707 to 1893 it was the capital of the Luang Prabang principality, and from 1893 to 1946, of the Luang Prabang kingdom, a French protectorate. When the united state of Laos was established in 1947, Vientiane became the capital; Luang Prabang was the residence of the Laotian king until the monarchy was abolished in 1975.

Luang Prabang has a regular layout, with many pile and brick houses. There are about 30 wats, or monasteries, including the Vixun (1503, burned down in 1887, rebuilt in 1898), the Wat That (1548, rebuilt in 1907), the Xieng Thong (1561), the Xen (first half of the 18th century), the May (1796), the Aram (rebuilt in 1818), the Xieng Muong (1851), and the Pa Khe (rebuilt in 1851). In the center of the city is the Chomsi that (stupa) near the Phu Si hill (rebuilt in the early 20th century). The city is the site of the Royal Palace, built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the Royal Library, containing a collection of ancient manuscripts.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
For him it was increasingly important and possible to conceive of an administratively unified Laos, one which would supersede the royal configurations of the Kingdoms of Luang Phrabang or Champasak and the military territories.
The King of Luang Phrabang would thus be the King of Laos.
This time he was reacting to a radical linguistic reform proposed that same year by the French Commissioner in Luang Phrabang, who wanted the Lao to use Siamese letters to write their language.
(22) In mid-1941, under Japanese pressure, France was forced to cede territories on the west bank of the Mekong to the Thai, opposite Luang Phrabang and Pakse.
For example, with the transfer of west-bank territories to the Thai, the French compensated Luang Phrabang for its loss of Xayabury province--renamed 'Lan Xang' by the Thai--by expanding its administrative control to include the provinces of Vientiane and Xiengkhuang, which had previously been under direct French rule.
If Phetsarath was truly determined to 'run the place', this was undoubtedly one important factor that brought him into conflict with the newly appointed French Commissioner in Luang Phrabang, Christian Bonamy.
On 8 April, after Japanese troops had moved into Luang Phrabang, the King was forced to declare the independence of Laos.
When the news of the Japanese coup in Vientiane reached Luang Phrabang, the Crown Prince instigated what Geoffrey Gunn has called a 'palace revolution': he assumed power in his father's name and effectively relegated the Prime Minister (Phetsarath) to a secondary role.
Already in early 1945, he had sent a telegram to the King asking for authorisation to sign a proclamation attaching the southern provinces to Luang Phrabang in a bid to create a sole and unified Lao nation instead of the colonial melange described above.
After declaring the unification of Laos on 15 September, he informed the French representative in Luang Phrabang that his own men--not the King and not the French--would receive the Chinese.
Nonetheless, his breach with the reigning House of Luang Phrabang was now in the open.
All alone, Phetsarath was immediately drawn to the Lao Issara as his Japanese backers disappeared and his problems with the French and the Luang Phrabang court exploded.