Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg
Updated May 2016
(View of Sala Klang)
(Queen Suriyothai on frontage)
(Entry to the exhibition hall)
(Lay-out of the exhibition)
(Exhibition hall - section 1)
(Exhibition hall - section 4)
Sala Klang Jangwat Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya is situated in the center of
Ayutthaya in Pratu Chai Sub-district. The imposing building stands at the western end of
Rojana road, south of the
City Pillar Shrine.

The frontage of the building contains the high reliefs of six great kings and queens from
the Ayutthaya Kingdom; namely, Ramathibodi I aka King U-Thong (r.1351-1369) ,
King Borommatrailokanat (r.1448-1463), Queen Suriyothai, Naresuan (r.1590-1605),
Narai (r.1656-1688) and King Taksin (r.1768 -1782).

Sala Klang serves multiple purposes. It houses the
Ayutthaya National Art Museum,
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) - Ayutthaya branch Information office and a
TAT exhibition on Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya’s tourism.

The right wing of the ground floor serves as the TAT’s Tourist Information Centre. The
first floor gives access to the Art Museum and to the TAT exhibition on Phra Nakhon Sri
Ayutthaya’s tourism possibilities.

Ayutthaya Historical Exhibition Hall is divide in five sections: Ayutthaya as a
World Heritage site; Ayutthaya's tourist attractions; art treasures of the Kingdom of
Ayutthaya; Ayutthayan's way of life, a riverine civilization; and the colors and attractions
of Ayutthaya.

The first section glorifies the Ayutthayan civilization; the second section gives an overview
of the most important sites within the province; a model of
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and a
ground plan overview of the city surroundings, indicating the most important historical
sites via a button play; the third section lead us to the treasures of art of the former
Kingdom of Ayutthaya mainly based on the religious beliefs in the Traiphum (Three
Worlds) cosmology; the fourth section introduces us into the lifestyle of the people of
Ayutthaya with information about local crafts work, markets, food and dishes and all the
possibilities for "Homestay" in one of the rural villages around Ayutthaya (Ban Sarai, Ban
Rang Chorakhe, Ko Koet and Bang Ban). At the last section you will find a video
presentation on the “Life in the Historical City of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya”.

The upper floor houses the
Ayothaya Contemporary Art Gallery, established with the
main objective to be a stage for expression as well as an exchange of ideas and lifestyles
among artists, students, academics and interested visitors.

In earlier times

At the end of the 17th century the residence of the Phrakhlang was situated on the
actual spot of the Ayutthaya Tourist Center. This information can be derived from
Engelbert Kaempfer's map drafted in 1690.

In front of the building ran the - by the foreigners called - Phrakhlang Road (1), which
was in fact part of the Maha Rathaya Road, the main road leading from the Victory Gate
to the
Grand Palace. Going south in direction of the Victory Gate stood the Royal
Warehouse (Phrakhlang Sinkha), in which immediate vicinity a fresh market was situated.

The Phrakhlang was the minister responsible for the external relations and maritime
trading affairs in the Ayutthaya era. He was in charge of the royal warehouses, the
commercial monopolies, and the relations with foreigners. The Phrakhlang was  referred
to as the "Barcalon" by the western foreigners and was in fact the King's personal
merchant. He held a  Sakdina of 10,000 Rai. (2)


(1) The French called it la 'Rue du Barcelon'.
(2) Sakdina or dignity marks system served to indicate one's status within the Siamese
civil hierarchy and in the Siamese social hierarchy. It was also related to the manpower
under someone's control. [2]


[1] Phanna phumisathan Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya: Ekasan jak Ho Luang -
Geographical description of Ayutthaya: Documents from the palace - Dr Vinai
Pongsripian - Bangkok (2007).
[2] In the King's Trail - Remco Raben and Dhiravat Na Pombejra (1997) - page 36.
View of Sala Klang
Queen Suriyothai on frontage
Entry to the exhibition hall
Lay-out of the exhibition
Exhibition hall - section 1
Exhibition hall - section 4
Exhibition hall - section 4
(Exhibition hall - section 4)
Detail of Engelbert Kaempfer's draft map - Anno 1690
(Detail of Engelbert Kaempfer's draft map - Anno