Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Ho Phra Keo: the Temple of the Emerald Buddha

Emerald Buddha idols
Oldest temple of Vientiane, originally uploaded by B℮n.

Ho Phra Keo or the Temple of the Emerald Buddha (formerly known as Wat Phra Kaew) is a former monastery and royal temple of the Lao monarchs. Built in 1565 by King Saya Setthathirath of the Kingdom of Lane Xang, it housed the Emerald Buddha, carved from a type of jade. The temple was destroyed during the Siamese invasion of 1828 and rebuilt between 1936 and 1942. ‘Surrounding the temple and its exquisitely kept gardens are 10 staircases, each intricately and symmetrically carved in the shape of dragons, adding to the distinct structure and design’, the author of this photo adds.

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