|VIHAN PHRA THI NANG YEN
|Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - August 2010
|Vihan Phra Thi Nang Yen is situated on the city island in the Historical Park east of
Wat Phra Ram in Bueng Phra Ram area. The vihara we see here has been built around
1956 in the period of Phibunsongkram staying in the prime minister's office.
The building has been constructed on top of the foundations of an older structure,
probably built in the reign of King Narai (r. 1656-1688), the last King of the Prasat
Thong Dynasty. The initial building apparently was built in brick, had two floors and
arched entry doors. The function of the old building remains a mystery. Some sources
state it was originally the residence of the former abbot of Wat Phra Ram (1), others
said it might have been a pavilion for watching folk games. As many important
monasteries in Ayutthaya had a "Tamnak" or royal pavilion, Phra Thi Nang Yen could
have got the same function. The exact use of this structure will never be known.
The old structure is indicated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926.
(1) Wat Phra Ram was before an active monastery and is mentioned in the long poem
"Khun Chang Khun Phaen" which was based following Prince Damrong, on a true story
from the late fifteenth century. 
 Khun Chang Khun Phaen - Chapter 37 - Soi Fa makes a love charm.