[Lecture] The Protuket: the Thai-Portuguese Catholic Community, From Ayutthaya to Bangkok

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Readers in Bangkok may be interested in this talk at the Siam Society on 30 August at 7.30 pm

The Protuket: the Thai-Portuguese Catholic Community, From Ayutthaya to Bangkok. A Talk by Miguel Castelo-Branco

The Portuguese are acknowledged as pioneers of Western relations with the Kingdom of Siam, dating back to the early years of the 16th century. The diplomatic alliance began in 1511, when Portugal sent a delegation to Siam during the reign of Rama Thibodi II, who ruled as King of Ayutthaya from 1491 to 1529. The Treaty of Friendship and Commerce, signed in 1518, is taken as the auspicious beginning for this alliance, which this year has been marked by numerous celebrations in both countries, attesting to 500 years of enduring friendship.

After the 1767 sacking of Ayutthaya, King Rama II (of the Rattanakosin period), facilitated the setting up of the first Portuguese consulate by granting land on the side of the Chao Phraya River. Over the centuries, relations between the two countries have grown in strength, particularly after King Chulalongkorn’s first visit to Portugal as part of his 1897 European tour.

Crucially, as well as allowing Portugal to set up a trading post in Ayutthaya, the 1518 Treaty also guaranteed religious freedom for the sizeable Portuguese community. Numerous Catholic churches in Bangkok attest to the legacy of Portuguese-Siamese relations and to the well-integrated nature of Portuguese descendants into Thai society.

Tonight’s lecture aims to offer a general understanding of what was, for over 300 years, a strategically fundamental group in balancing between Ayutthaya, Bangkok and the Western World.

More information here.

Ayutthaya Tuk Tuk Rally to promote tourism

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va The Nation, 02 August 2018: Sounds like a fun thing to do – zooming across the Ayutthaya World Heritage site in a tuk tuk while solving puzzles in Thai Traditional Dress.

The Ayutthaya provincial administration is holding a tuk tuk rally on August 18 and 19 to promote tourism to the historical site.

Source: Tourism on three wheels – The Nation

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Historic elephant palace in Ayutthaya to get Bt30 million makeover

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via The Nation, 06 May 2018:

The Fine Arts Department will spend Bt30 million on improving the Ayutthaya Elephant Palace & Royal Kraal. Sacred and rare rituals will be carried out at the facility on Monday to mark the start of conservation efforts.

Source: Historic elephant palace in Ayutthaya to get Bt30 million makeover – The Nation

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Preserving history

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via Bangkok Post, 30 April 2018:

Ruins and ancient sites are always under threat from time and disaster. The great flood of 2011, for instance, damaged 128 archeological sites on and around the city island of Ayutthaya. After the incident, the government provided a budget of 600 million baht for the clean-up and restoration work, and there was also financial and technical aid from Unesco, as well as certain foreign countries.

Source: Preserving history

Superstition helps protect heritage, says park director

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via Bangkok Post, 26 April 2018:

AYUTTHAYA: The return of an ancient brick souvenired from the famous Wat Chaiwatthanaram in Ayutthaya Historical Park is proof that superstitious belief helps protect the old temple, according to park director Sukanya Baonerd.

Source: Superstition helps protect heritage, says park director

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นักธรณีฟิสิกส์พบโครงสร้างปริศนาใต้วัดไชยฯ อยุธยา

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via MGR Online, 31 March 2018: A research team at Wat Chaiwattanaram in Ayutthaya have detected a possible structure beneath the temple, using Ground-Penetrating Radar and magnetometer surveys. Article is in Thai.

นักธรณีฟิสิกส์ใช้เรดาร์และการวัดค่าสนามแม่เหล็กสำรวจวัดไชยวัฒนาราม จ.อยุธยา ในการปฏิบัติงานเพื่อช่วยกรมศิลป์บูรณปฏิสังขรณ์และอนุรักษ์โบราณสถาน แล้วพบโครงสร้างปริศนาที่ยังไม่ทราบว่าคืออะไร เบื้องต้นส่งข้อมูลเพื่อให้หน่วยงานที่รับผิดชอบโดยตรงนำไปศึกษาต่อ

Source: นักธรณีฟิสิกส์พบโครงสร้างปริศนาใต้วัดไชยฯ อยุธยา