Ayutthaya Historical Park (Thai: อุทยานประวัติศาสตร์พระนครศรีอยุธยา (Pronunciation)) covers the ruins of the old city of Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province, Thailand. The city of Ayutthaya was founded by King Ramathibodi I in 1351.[a] The city was captured by the Burmese in 1569. Though not pillaged, it lost "many valuable and artistic objects.":42–43 It was the capital of the country until its destruction by the Burmese Army in 1767.
In 1969 the Fine Arts Department began renovations of the ruins, which became more serious after it was declared a historical park in 1976. A part of the park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. Thirty-five kings ruled the Ayutthaya kingdom during its existence. King Narai (1656-1688) held court not only in Ayutthaya but also from his palace in the nearby city of Lopburi, from where he ruled for eight to nine months of the year.[relevant? ]
In 1991, part of Ayutthaya Historical Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under criteria III as an excellent witness to the period of development of a true national Thai art. The inscribed area covered only 289 ha of the central and southwestern parts of Ayutthaya Island; as a result, only certain groups of historical sites are under UNESCO protection. The sites including Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Mahathat, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Wat Phra Ram, and Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bopit. The sites that are not part of World Heritage sites are the sites beyond Ayutthaya Island, for example, Wat Yai Chai Mongkon, Wat Phanan Choeng, Wat Chaiwatthanaram, and Wat Phu Khao Thong.
a The city was founded on Friday, the 6th day of the waxing moon of the 5th month, 1893 Buddhist Era, corresponding to Friday, 4 March 1351 Common Era, according to the calculation of the Fine Arts Department of Thailand.
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