WAT SUWAN CHEDI (วัดสุวรรณเจดีย์)
Wat Suwan Chedi or the Monastery of the Golden Chedi is a restored ruin located
on the city island in Tha Wasukri Sub-district. The site, near the property of a technical
school, can be reached via Kalahom Rd, running behind (or west of )
Wat Racha
Burana and linking Naresuan Rd with U-Thong Rd. The place is fenced off in order to
preserve the ruins, but can easily be accessed through the guarded entry of the school
premises.

Wat Suwan Chedi was located on the east bank of
Khlong Pak Sra also called Lam
Khu Pak Sra, a canal linking the old
Lopburi River (present Khlong Mueang or City
Canal) in the north with the water ring in the south. The canal had its southern mouth at
the Pratu Thep Mi, a water gate; hence the southern stretch of this canal was called
Khlong Pratu Thep Mi.

In situ are the foundations of multiple monastic structures. The main attraction is the ruin
of a large bell-shaped chedi with square harmika and a broken spire representing the 31
planes of existence. West of it are the foundations of an ordination hall with some broken
parts of Buddha images on top. A number of satellite chedi and foundations of other
buildings are spread all over the site. Some parts of - what was likely - the outer wall still
can be seen.

Its historical background and period of construction are unknown. An old plaque in situ
indicates that this temple was built in the Middle Ayutthaya period (1488 - 1629 AD),
and later restored during the Late Ayutthaya period (1629 - 1767 AD).

The site is indicated on a
map drafted in the mid-19th century and on Phraya Boran
Rachathanin's map of 1926. The mid-19th century map indicates the existence of a chedi.
View from the south
Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - May 2010
Updated August 2015
View from the east
View from the west - on the foundations of the hall
Site view of Wat Suwan Chedi shortly after receding of the flood which hit the
Historic City of Ayutthaya and its Historical Park in the evening of 7 October 2011.
Pictures were taken on 28 November, three weeks after the much announced
Ayutthaya Clean-up Day.
(Pictures by Tricky Vandenberg)
(View from the west - on the foundations of the hall)
(View from the south)
(View from the east)
Detail of a 19th century map
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of a 19th century map - Courtesy of the Sam
Chao Phraya Museum - map is orientated S-N)
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
1926)
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)
Addendum

On 2 August 1952 a crypt underneath the assumed main stupa of Wat Suwan Chedi was
discovered. The burial chamber held many golden artifacts including a ring, casket, votive
tablets, embossed miniature plaques of different animals (elephant, horse, fish and turtle)
and a miniature plaque of a boat, designed with the front and tail high raised into a
U-shape. The boat is decorated with a fish egg design (Lai Khai Pla). [1]

References:

[1] Information gathered during the exhibition "Ayutthaya Gold: World Heritage, National
Heritage" at the Chao Sam Phraya Museum on 5 November 2016.
Text by Tricky Vandenberg
Addendum added 6 November 2016