Wat Xieng Thong (Lao: ວັດຊຽງທອງ, pronounced [wāt síaŋ.tʰɔ́ːŋ]; "Temple of the Golden City") is a Buddhist temple (vat or wat) on the northern tip of the peninsula of Luang Prabang, Laos.: 264  Built between 1559 and 1560 by King Setthathirath, Wat Xieng Thong is one of the most important of Lao monasteries and remains a significant monument to the spirit of religion, royalty and traditional art.

Wat Xieng Thong was built under the rule of King Setthathirath between 1559 and 1560.[1]: 6 [2]: 798  Setthathirath oversaw the Lan Xang ("Land of a Million Elephants") kingdom, a geographical area that is now Laos.[1]: 6  During his rule, Setthathirath moved the capital from Xieng Thong (which was later renamed Luang Prabang) to Vientiane, claiming dislike for the lack of flat land in Xieng Thong.[3]: 69–73  But, Luang Prabang remained a royal capital until 1975, when the Lao People's Democratic Republic (LPDR) was established.[4]: 76, 83 

Vat Xieng Thong was a royal temple under the patronage of the royal family (until the creation of the LPDR), created alongside Vat Keo and Vat That Luang.[1]: 13  The vat functioned as a place for kings to be crowned, a place of worship for monks and the laity, a shrine to Buddhist relics, a celebration space of religious rites and festivals, a library for ancient scripts, and a showcasing of traditional architecture.[2]: 798–799 

^ a b c Cite error: The named reference :2 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ a b World and Its Peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. Vol. 6, Marshall Cavendish, 2007. ^ Simms, Peter., and Simms, Sanda. The Kingdoms of Laos: Six Hundred Years of History / Peter and Sanda Simms. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon. Print. ^ Cite error: The named reference :1 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
Photographies by:
Phillip Maiwald (Nikopol) - CC BY-SA 3.0
Basile Morin - CC BY-SA 4.0
Phillip Maiwald (Nikopol) - CC BY-SA 3.0
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