MAIN STREET
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - August 2010
Ayutthaya's main street started at the northeastern corner of the Grand Palace near
Pratu Jakromhima and the crossing with a road leading to the
Chang Bridge. The street
had a width of 5 wa (10 meters) and was made of brick. The main street went straight
from the northeastern corner towards the southeastern corner; turned to the west for a
short distance and continued straight south towards Pratu Chai or the "Gate of Victory"
situated close to north bank of the main river (present Chao Phraya River).

The street passed as thus from north to south,
Wat Thammikarat, the royal cremation
grounds in front of
Viharn Mongkhon Bophit, Wat Phra Ram, the main drum tower, the
crossing with Talaeng Kaeng road, the Phra Kan shrine,
San Chao Thong, the canal
crossing of Khlong Pa Mo,
Wat Borom Phuttharam, Wat Prasat to finally end at Pratu
Chai. On its southern stretch the street ran parallel with Khlong Chakrai Noi.

On the
Bellin and Andrews maps the street is called respectively "Rue du Barcalon" and
"Barcatan Street" (the latter is a faulty take-over of Bellin's map). Barcalon is the
Portuguese corruption of "Phra Khlang", the Minister of External Relations and Maritime
Trading Affairs of Ayutthaya. The street was used for purposes such as the royal Kathin
processions (1), royal monk hood entries and funeral processions. The street ran
approximately where Sri Sanphet road is at present.

Near the east wall of the Grand Palace on the present temple grounds of Wat
Thammikarat, the brick remnants of this road still can be seen.

Footnotes:

(1) The "Thot Kathin" annual merit-making ceremony is held at the end of the rainy
season. "Thot" means to make an offering to a monk and "Kathin" means an embroidery
frame.

References:

[1] อธิบายแผนที่พระนครศรีอยุธยากับคำวินิจฉัยของพระยาโบราฌราชาธานินท์
ฉบับชำระครั้งที่๒ และ ภูมิสถนกรุงศรีอยุธยา (2007) - page 98/99.