AYUTTHAYA HISTORICAL STUDY CENTER
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - April 2012
The Ayutthaya Historical Study Center (AHSC) is situated on Ayutthaya's city island
in Pratu Chai Sub-district on Rojana Road more or less opposite the Chao Sam Phraya
Museum and next to the Rajabhat University.

The AHSC is funded by the Japanese Government and is a national research institute
devoted to the study of Ayutthaya's history when it was the capital of Siam from 1351 till
1767. The center has an exhibition hall featuring a part of Ayutthaya's history, but there is
no library neither are books available regarding the city's history.

David Potter wrote in his work "Japan's Foreign Aid To Thailand and the Philippines" [1]
that the AHSC was one of the best-known Japanese grant aid projects in Thailand. In
1984 the Bangkok-Japanese Chamber of Commerce started talking again of restoring
the 17th century Japanese trading community site, which existed prior in the southeastern
area of the city during the Ayutthayan era. As the Thai-Japanese diplomatic relations
project for the upcoming 1987 event. Negotiations with Thailand followed and Japan
agreed to an aid project amounting to 999 million Yen (180 million Baht at that time),
while Prime Minister Nakasone was to inaugurate the project during his state visit to
Thailand late September 1987. The project was delayed and altered by two revisions.
Early September 1987, the Association of Siamese Architects (ASA) protested the
planned construction of the center, which resulted in the cancellation of the Japanese
Prime Minister inauguration of the center and a gain of 70 percent share for Thai
contractors and architects in the project design, after a Ministry of Interior‘s committee
ultimatum in the summer of 1988. The final design was significantly altered to include Thai
design elements. A second revision occurred four months after the center’s inauguration
in 1989. [1]

The modern exhibition hall is on the upper floor of the two-storey building. The hall
exhibits a number of themes such as  the City of Ayutthaya as a capital; Ayutthaya as a
port city, Ayutthaya as a central state and traditional village life.

The exhibition features three beautiful models of which the model of the Grand Palace
and
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet is exquisite, next to the models of Wat Chai Wathanaram and
the
Elephant Kraal.

The left wing is in my opinion a very good supplement to the TAT exhibition at the
Ayutthaya Tourist Center, exhibiting perfectly Ayutthaya as an international trade hub.
The different panels are very informative.

The middle wing glorifies Ayutthaya as a central state in a magnificent showcase, while
the right wing demonstrates rural life in the Ayutthayan era, including a model of a rural
village.

References:

[1] Japan's Foreign Aid To Thailand and the Philippines - David M. Potter (1996) - page
142-5.
[2] http://sites.google.com/site/ayutthaya2552/plan-1/areaofayutthayahistorystudycentre -
APINANT Phongmethakul - data retrieved 23 April 2012.
(Frame at the entry of the exhibition hall)
(Map of Ayutthaya - entry hall)
(Central view)
(View from the right wing)
(Exhibition hall - central)
(Right wing)
(Right wing - merchant ship)
(Right wing)
http://sites.google.com/site/ayutthaya2552/plan-1/areaofayutthayahistorystudycentre - APINANT Phongmethakul