Wat That

Litterally : "the Stupa temple"

This temple and its garden are surely the most beautiful in Luang Prabang. It is the centre for numerous festivities in honour of Buddha, where the villagers of Ban Wat That meet frequently along with the villagers of Ban Ho Xieng (whose temple is near the Wat That). It is one of the most sacred temples in Luang Prabang, where venerable monks from numerous temples meet during Pimay (New Year in Laos).

The pagoda

So called in memory of the Lanna style temple in North Thailand, it was constructed in 1548 by King Say Setthathirath, and was almost completely destroyed during the storm of 1900, along with the Wat Ho Xiang. This large pagoda was rebuilt, and renovated several times (each time there were minor additions and modifications), the last one dating from the beginning of the years 2000. The stencilling especially underwent complete renovation.

The temple contains dozens of Buddha’s; it is one of the most active temples in Luang Prabang, being as it shares many roles with the Ban Ho Xieng temple.

The Stupa

This stupa is one of the most symbolic religious relics in Luang Prabang, second only after the Wat That Luang (the pagoda beside the town’s old sports ground).

The Stupa (or That) is a solid construction, used for celebrating fulfilled wishes and funeral purposes. It contains the relics of a very important person.

Stupas exist in different formats :
- in the form of half a globe, bell or dome ;
- where the supports are of an equal size to the supported element;
- whose arched part ends up by becoming a simple terminal accessory

Stencils (see photos)

Even though many of the paintings are discoloured (due to the tropical climate, the exposed paintings deteriorate quickly), many of them are regularly renovated.


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