Ayutthaya äyo͞otī´ə [key], or Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthayaprä näkôn´ sē [key], city (1990 pop. 61,185), capital of Ayutthaya prov., S central Thailand, on the Chao Phraya River. It is the trade center for a prosperous rice-growing region. Ayutthaya was the capital of a Thai kingdom founded c.1350 and was located on the site of a Khmer settlement. Destroyed by the Burmese in 1559, it was rebuilt by the Siamese in the late 16th cent. but was again devastated by the Burmese in 1767, after which the capital was moved to Thon Buri and then to Bangkok. Ayutthaya has some of the few monuments of early Siamese civilization, notably the royal palace (16th cent.) and numerous temples and pagodas.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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