Wat Rajathiwas Rajaworavihara
( Wat Raja ) is situated on
bank of Chao Phraya River, near Tha Wasukri Pier, Samsen. When he
was a monk King Rama IV, resided at this temple. It was there that
the Dhammayutika sect was born. It is believed to be an ancient
temple built before the Ayutthaya Period, and was originally called
Wat Samorrai. King Rama V Believed that the word "Samor"
was derived from the Khmer word "Thamor", meaning stone.
Therefor the temples name meant Wat Silarai. King Rama IV gave the
temple its present name of Wat Rajathiwas vihara. The temple is
cool and shady as befitting its history as a forest retreat.
In the Fifth Reign the phra ubosot,
which has been constructed in the early Rattanakosin Period, was
in poor condition. King Rama V therefor ordered Prince Narissaranuwattiwong
to reconstruct the phra ubosot but retain the original walls because
of the significance of the building in the history of the Dhammayutika
sect. The murals were done using the European fresco technique and
depicted the story of Phra Vessandara, the Buddha's tenth reincarnation.
Prince Narissaranuwattiwong prepared the drafts and Rigole, an Italian
artist who painted the ceiling in the dome of the Ananta Samakhom
Throne Hall, executed the frescoes.
The sala karn prian, or sermon hall,
situated in the front of the temple is constructed entirely of teak
and can accommodate up to 1,000 people. Prince Narissaranuwattiwong
modelled it on a hall at Wat Suwannaram in Phetchaburi Province.