Vientiane(redirected from Ventiane)
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the capital and main economic center of Laos. Administrative center of the province of Vientiane. Population, 132,300 (1966). The city of Vientiane is a transportation junction and a port on the left bank of the Mekong River (bordering on Thailand), and it is linked by the river to the city of Luang Prabang, the royal residence. Vientiane has an airport. Industries are mainly domestic and include the husking and milling of rice, the dressing of hides, and the manufacture of cotton and silk fabrics, brocades, and shawls. Other industries include hardwood processing, furniture manufacturing, and wood and silver crafts. Vientiane is a market center for hardwood and rubber, as well as lacquer, cotton, and silk articles. It has an archaeological museum, a national library, and a university.
Vientiane was founded in the 13th century, and with interruptions it was the capital of the Laotian state of Lan Xang from the 16th century to the 18th (until 1707). From 1707 to 1828 it was the capital of the principality of Vientiane. In 1827 and 1828 it was destroyed by Siamese forces. Beginning in the middle of the 19th century, the city was gradually re-stored. After the establishment of French rule in Laos in 1893, it became the administrative center of so-called French Laos in 1899. In 1946 it became the capital of the kingdom.
Vientiane is laid out in a regular pattern and consists mainly of wooden and clay houses, as well as two- or three-story private brick dwellings. Among the architectural monuments are the Buddhist temples Phra Keo Wat (1565) and Sisaket Wat (1820), the sanctuary complex That Luang (1586), and the royal palace. Outstanding 20th-century buildings are the National Assembly (mid-20th century; architect, Souvanna Phouma), the Lan Xang Hotel (1963; architect, Kham Phet), and the city market, built in traditional style (1963; architect, Souvanna Phouma).