Ancient Siam

เมืองโบราณ

( Ancient Siam )

Ancient Siam (also known as Ancient City, Thai: เมืองโบราณ, Mueang Boran) is a museum park constructed by Lek Viriyaphant and occupying over 200 acres (0.81 km2) in the shape of Thailand.

Ancient Siam is dubbed as the world's largest outdoor museum. Close to the Crocodile Farm in Samut Prakan Province, the 320-hectare "city" features 116 structures of Thailand's famous monuments and architectural attractions. The grounds of Ancient Siam correspond roughly to the shape of the kingdom, with the monuments lying at their correct places geographically. Some of the buildings are life-size replicas of existing or former sites, while others are scaled down. Still others are "creative designs," and not replicas of any historical structure.

The replicas were constructed with the assistance of experts from the National Museum to ensure historical accuracy. Outstanding works include the former Grand Palace of Ayutthaya (destroyed in...Read more

Ancient Siam (also known as Ancient City, Thai: เมืองโบราณ, Mueang Boran) is a museum park constructed by Lek Viriyaphant and occupying over 200 acres (0.81 km2) in the shape of Thailand.

Ancient Siam is dubbed as the world's largest outdoor museum. Close to the Crocodile Farm in Samut Prakan Province, the 320-hectare "city" features 116 structures of Thailand's famous monuments and architectural attractions. The grounds of Ancient Siam correspond roughly to the shape of the kingdom, with the monuments lying at their correct places geographically. Some of the buildings are life-size replicas of existing or former sites, while others are scaled down. Still others are "creative designs," and not replicas of any historical structure.

The replicas were constructed with the assistance of experts from the National Museum to ensure historical accuracy. Outstanding works include the former Grand Palace of Ayutthaya (destroyed in the Burmese invasion of 1767), Phimai Sanctuary in Nakhon Ratchasima, and Wat Khao Phra Viharn on the Cambodian border.

 
Sanphet Prasat Throne Hall, Ayuthayan kings' palace, Ancient Siam replica

Lek Viriyaphant was interested in art since childhood, which inspired him to establish the Ancient City. Initially, he intended to build a Thai map-shaped golf course where miniatures of important national ancient sites were placed, which aimed to serve tourism and education purposes only.

Lek started doing research on the establishment of the Ancient City. He found that many ancient sites had been left in decay. Thus, he changed the concept of the Ancient City from being a tourism attraction and relaxation to an open-air museum for education purpose to benefit newer generations who would be proud of their national heritage.

Lek continually created artwork in the Ancient City as well as the Sanctuary of Truth in Pattaya and the Erawan Museum in Samut Prakan until the end of his life on 17 November 2000.

Recent events

In 2006, America's Next Top Model, Season 6, the reality show from the US, has led the contestants to the finals by using the Pavilion of the Saint as a runway. It was a model platform that was the largest in the show's history. In the area, Sanphet castle model was the place where the winner was announced.

On 29 September 2009, 500 activists from the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) protested at the model of the Preah Vihear Temple in Ancient Siam. They claimed that the temple belonged to Thailand although the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague had ruled in 1962 that the temple belonged to Cambodia.

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