Wat Si Saket

23

Nov
2021

Wat Si Saket
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The oldest wat in Vientiane, Wat Si Saket was spared the destruction wrought by the Siamese when they burned the rest of the temples in the city. Wat Si Saket was built in 1818 for King Anouvong, popularly known as Chao Anou, and it was here that Lao nobility swore loyalty to him. Anouvong turned against his original allies, the Siamese, and lost his capital, and his life, for this decision.

The architectural feature that makes this temple unique is the cloister, or covered gallery, surrounding the central sim. The inner walls of the cloister are filled with over 2,000 Buddha images arranged in symmetrical niches facing the sim. The sim itself has an exquisite five-tiered roof, which was restored by the  French twice, resulting in a ceiling with  a rather European finish. A carved wooden hao thian (candle holder) lies near the altar. One of the highlights of this enchanting ancient collection of Buddhist art is a háang song nam pha, a naga-headed trough. It is kept in the covered gallery and used for pouring lustral water over the Buddha images during the Lao New Year.

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