WAT KAEO (1) (วัดแก้ว)
Wat Kaeo or the Crystal Monastery was located on the city island in the southwestern
area of Ayutthaya in Pratu Chai Sub-district. It was situated in the present
Somdet Phra
Sri Nakharin Park; the latter being part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park. The site of the
former monastery is accessible via U-Thong road. The temple stood north of
Wat Khok
Madan Yai (defunct) along a canal which was connected to Khlong Chakrai Yai.

The monastery belonged to a cluster of temples located in a residential area in the reign
King Chakkraphat also called the "Lord of the White Elephants" (reign 1548-1569
CE). Thianracha (Chakkraphat), before ascending the throne, had his princely residence
in this area. The area was before important, as most of the palace officials and high
ranked persons were living on both sides of the main river between
Wat Phutthaisawan
Wat Chai Watthanaram.

The last traces above ground level of this temple probably disappeared when the
Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park was constructed. Only a large grass field remains.

Its historical background and exact period of construction are not known, although it is
very likely that the former monastery was built in the Middle Ayutthaya period.

On the road in front of
Wat Kaeo Fa near the Khun Lok Bridge over Khlong Chakrai
Yai, there was a fresh market called
Khun Lok Market. [1] Khun Lok could be
translated as "Ruler of the World", which is in fact Brahma, the Creator. There could be
a link between the name of the bridge and market with
Wat Jao Phram (Lord Brahma) in
its immediate vicinity.

Wat Kaeo is indicated on a
mid-19th century map in the same position as Phraya Boran
Rachathanin does on his
1926 map, but is here denominated as Wat Kaeo Fa. The
oldest map indicates the presence of a chedi.

Whether or not the monastery had a relation with the child
king Yot Fa (reign
1547-1548 CE) also called King Kaeo Fa, is not known.

The site was located in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 33.51" N, 100° 33' 16.21" E.


[1] Markets and Production in the City of Ayutthaya before 1767: Translation and
Analysis of Part of the Description of Ayutthaya - Chris Baker - Journal of the Siam
Society, Vol. 99, 2011 - page 66.
Text & maps by Tricky Vandenberg - September 2009
Updated May 2014
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
Detail of a mid-19th century map
(Detail of a 19th century map - map is orientated S-N)
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)