Lopburi sometimes Lop Buri or Lob Buri, formerly known as Lavo (sometimes Luovo or Lawo) boast an incredible blend of ancient and modern, East and West influences. Lopburi now is the capital city of Lopburi Province. Its convenient location, less than 3 hours from Bangkok make of this town a good place to escape the stress and pollution of the capital.
Lopburi is located on the east side of the Chao Phraya River valley, between the Lopburi and Pa Sak Rivers, at 153 kilometers north of Bangkok, Lopburi houses many historical sites and also a national museum with lots of archaeological finds. The city is a must for those interested in Thailand’s culture and history.
Lopburi is one of the oldest cities in Thailand thus the remains of almost all periods of the Thai history can be found here. Its history dates back into the Dvaravati period more than 1000 years ago, when the area was known as Lavo. Many Dvaravati pieces of antiquity are preserved in the important Lopburi National Museum, although many of the best specimens have been placed in the National Museum in Bangkok.
The city served as an important capital for the Khmer empire based in Angkor since the beginning of the 10th century, they destroyed all former buildings erasing most Dvaravati signs, so that most of the oldest ruins that can now be found are examples of Khmer architecture. Khmer ruled the area until the middle of the 13th century.
Lopburi later became part of the Ayutthaya kingdom, Lopburi served as the second capital (summer capital) under the reign of King Narai after Ayutthaya. King Narai stayed here for about eight months a year. A lot of diplomatic activity with European powers, especially France took place at Lopburi during that time. It was abandoned after King Narai passed away in 1688, but parts were restored in 1856 by King Rama IV of the Ratanakosin Era.
The architectural style of Lop Buri in the reign of King Narai was a mixture of Thai and Western styles as is evident in the Royal Palace, the Royal Reception House and more.
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