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A province in the central region of Thailand, Lopburi Province is located about 154 kilometres north of Bangkok. Covering an area of 6,199 square kilometres, the province is situated on the western end of the Korat Plateau.  Lop Buri Province is one of several provinces in central Thailand where many significant historical artefacts and prehistoric settlements have been discovered.The remains of Lopburi, dating over 1,200 years attests to the strategic significance of Lop Buri to many rulers. These relics, ranging from the Bronze Age to the Rattanakosin period, have made Lopburi a blend of east and west and ancient and modern, revealing the city's turbulent and alluring history and a glimpse of Thailand's extraordinary past.

The Past

 

Lopburi was first developed into a major town during the Dvaravati Kingdom ( 6th 11th centuries ). Most historians believed the first settlers of the town were the Lawa (an ethnic group related to the Mons) which is the reason for naming the town Lawo. In 10th century, the town came under absolute sovereignty of the Khmer's who made it one of their oldest provincial capitals. The Khmer Mahayana Buddhism style was a major influence on the towns architecture and was later commonly referred to as Lopburi Style. Remains of Khmer Hindu architectural motifs found in the city include the Shivas Shrine

( Prang Khaek ), San Phra Kan, Phra Prang Sam Yot, and Wat Phra Si Mahathat.

It was in the late 13th century when the Thais, who migrated from the North, fought the Khmer's and declared their independence. Since then, Lop Buri has been ruled by Thai Kings.

 

Lopburi first became known when King U-Tong, who established the Ayutthaya Kingdom, sent his son, Ramesuan the Crown Prince, to govern the city. The Prince commanded the building of moats, city walls and battlement towers.

Lopburi reached its height in 1664 when King Narai the Great of Ayutthaya named Lopburi the Kingdoms second capital, which came after a threat of invasion from Hollanders. King Narai the Great rebuilt Lopburi with the help of French architects and ruled the Kingdom from there, instead of Ayutthaya., Thus the city's architecture mostly reflected a mixture of Thai and Western styles, which can be seen today in the remains of the Royal Palace, the Royal Reception House etc.

 

Lopburi gradually faded from the political scene with the death of King Narai the Great. It, however, made a comeback about 200 years later when King Rama IV of the Rattanakosin Era decided to restore the city. He also commanded the restoration of the old Palace and named it Phra Narai Ratchaniwet ( Narai Ratchaniwet Palace ) in honour of King Narai the Great.

After Thailand's democratic revolution, Marshall Poh Pibulsongkram rebuilt a military camp near the city's railroad, therefore, dividing the city into the old ( ancient ) and new zone.

Lopburi, The Past story of the Province

Lopburi Province Page 1, The Geography and History of the Province
Lopburi Province Page 3, Lopburi Province , how to get there, by Car, Bus or Train