Pha That Luang, (That Luang Stupa)Thursday, March 13, 2014
During our trip, we also visited Pha That Luang. Pha That Luang (or That Luang Stupa or Stupa Luang) is an impressive gold-covered Buddhist stupa in the centre of Vientiane, Laos. First built in 3rd century, the stupa has undergone several reconstructions until the 1930s due to foreign invasions to the area. Pha That Luang is considered the most important national monument and officially a national symbol of Laos.Our tour guide told us that the stupa was originally built as early as the third century to house a breastbone of the Lord Buddha brought to Laos by an Indian missionary. However, the current structure was built by King Setthathirat in 1566 on the site of a 13th century Khmer ruin. He named Vientiane the capital after Luang Prabang in the mid-sixteenth century. An elegantly crafted statue of him stands in front of the main entrance to That Luang.
That Luang was greatly damaged by the Burmese, Chinese and Siamese during invasions in the 18th and 19th centuries then was basically left alone until French colonial times. Restoration work was completed in 1900 by the French and for a second time in 1930, again with the help of the French.
Right next to the That Luang Stupa, you will reach the impressive golden reclining Buddha.