King Ramathibodi I (U-Thong) founded the city of Ayutthaya in 1350 A.D. At that time he ordered the building of a royal palace
in which to live. It was located at what is now Wat Phra Sri San Phet. Five royal halls are known
to us by name these are the Phaitun Mahaprasat, Phaichayon Mahaprasat, Aisawas Mahaprasat, Mangkhalaphisek Mahaprasat
and Trimuk Hall. The royal palace was inhabited by successive kings for 98 years.|
The anient wall of the Royal Palace at the north
King Borommatrailokanat ascended the throne in 1448 A.D. and having handed over the tormer palace to be used for
activities related to the wat, set up his new palace in the sector north of the former royal dwelling, near the Lopburi River
(the northern city moat). The royal hall of Bencharatana Mahaprasat and Snphet Mahaprasat were built first, followed by the
royal hall of Mangkhalaphisek, which was given the titel "Vihan Somdet." The latter must have been built in a reign subsequent
to that of Borommatrailokanat but evidence for this theory is not clear. These royal halls were lived in by sixyeen kings during
ascended of 182 years.
The Water Reservoir (Tank)
King Prasathong enlarged the palace so that parts of it adjoined Wat Phra Sri San Phet,
and commanded the construction of two additional royal halls, namely the Suriyat Amarin and Chakkrawat Phaichayon.
Later on King Narai the Great built the Banyong Ratanat. The royal palace in the later stages of Ayutthaya numbered six halls
and was dwell in by ten kings throughout a period of 137 years until the sack of the capital in 1767 A.D.
There are eight forts all around the place including twenty-two gates (two built over the water) and one other small entrance.
The grounds of the royal palace can be catagorized as follows:
1. The outer palace, where Chakkrawat Phaichayon was situated plus various various offices for royal officials;
for example, buildings for the royal Court and the accounts department.
2. The middle section of the palace, having three halls: the Vihan Somdej, Sanphet Prasat and Suriyat Amarin.
Here were also situated some parts of the treasures plus quarters for the white elephants and the horsese.
3. The inner area, in which there could be found the Banyong Ratanat and the Bencharatana Mahaprasat,
living quarters and the royal kitchen.
4. The Phaichayon Bencharatana Garden in which was the great treasury disignated by various names.
5. The Suan Angun (Grape Garden), the royal garden of the palace, in which there were the Sa Kaeo and the Sala Luat quartors.
6. The area of Wat Phra Sri San Phet, where the royal temple of the palace was located.
7. The Suan Kratai (Rabbit Garden), where Prince Phonphinit lived, the heir to the throne during the reign of King Boromma Kot.