Wat Mahathat Yuwarajarangsarit
Rajaworamahavihara (Wat Mahathat ),
originally called Wat Salak, is situated between Sanam Luang and
Tha Phra Chan Pier, near Thammasat University. The Supreme Patriarchs
resided there during the early Rattanakosin Period. Maha Chulalongkrorn
Rajavitthayalai, a Buddhist university, is also situated within
the temple ground. The temple was built in the Ayutthaya Period
and was renovated in 1783 by Prince Surasinghanart, younger brother
of King Rama I, and renamed Wat Nipphanaram.
Before the first Grand Council to
revise the Buddhist tripitaka was convoked in 1788 , King Rama I
renamed the temple Wat Phra Sri Sanphechayadaram and later rename
it "Wat Mahathat" following the tradition from the Ayutthaya
Period to give this name to the temples that housed relics of the
Buddha. King Rama IV added the name "Yuwarajarangsarit"
in honor of Prince Vachirunnahis.
Important structures include the phra
mondop in front of the phra ubosot and the phra vihara in which
the sacred relics of Buddha are installed. There is also the Supreme
Patriarsh's residence, the Vihara Pho Lanka, or Vihara Noi, where
King Rama IV resided when he was a monk, and Akarn Watthu, or Red
Building , where once was housed Bangkok's first library.
The statue of Prince Surasinghanart
at the front of the temple was erected long after his death and
is a product of the imagination rather than a portrait.