WAT SUWANNAWAT (วัดสุวรรณาวาส)
Wat Suwannawat is located on the city island. It can be found in the corner Chikun
Road and U-Thong Road, just before the
Khlong Mueang Bridge. This renovated
temple ruin can also be seen directly opposite
Wat Racha Praditsathan.

Wat Suwannawat was aligned to an east/west axis facing toward
Khlong Pratu Khao
Pluak (now buried underground). In situ is a small sermon hall with its front entrance wall
still intact. Its basic foundation has been reconstructed by the Fine Arts Department, but
the remaining three walls are missing. The altar of the sermon hall has a large, armless,
Buddha image with most of his face still visible. Behind this ubosot is a large bell-shaped
chedi with an octagonal base. There are at least 25 rings around the spire and it finial is
still present. There are similar bell-shaped chedi at both sides of the sermon hall’s
entrance. These also have an octagonal base, though one’s spire has collapsed to the
ground below. These two chedi also have arched entrances on the eastern side.

Several smaller bell-shaped chedi in various states of erosion are also in situ. Two of
these sit in alignment on small platforms near U-Thong Road, and a third in line has
eroded to the ground level. More bell-shaped chedi can be found toward the
southwestern side of the sermon hall. In addition, there is a two-tiered bell tower with
arched windows in each of the cardinal directions. The style of this architecture at Wat
Suwannawat suggests the Middle and Late Ayutthaya Period.  

There is no record of this temple’s construction date or its role in history. It was built
where some Royal elephant stables once stood. These elephant quarters appear on the
maps of Vingboons 1665, Coronelli 1696, and de La Loubere 1691. This monastery
may have been used by the mahouts that worked with elephants in the stables.

Wat Suwannawat was restored by King Mongkut (r. 1851-1868) during the
Ratanakosin period. Excavations at this site uncovered a Chinese-style image of Buddha
preaching. It dates to the Ming Dynasty (16th-17th). The
Chao Sam Phraya Museum
presently has this marble image on display.  
Text by Ken May - September 2009
View from Maha Rat Rd
View from U-Thong Rd
View of the ordination hall
View from the NE corner
Addendum

Wat Suwannawat is indicated on a map drafted in the mid-19th century and on Phraya
Boran Rachathanin's map of 1926.

The mid-19th century map denominates the temple as
Wat Klang and shows the
presence of three chedi. The name of Wat Klang could be related to its middle position
between Wat Racha Praditsathan and
Wat Khongkha Phihan. The premises of this
monastery have obviously been cut through by the Maha Rat Rd, the extension of Chikun
Rd.

The restored ruin of Wat Suwannawat is located in geographical coordinates: 14° 21'
43.15"N, 100° 34' 4.53" E.
Addendum, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg
Updated April 2016
(View from Maha Rat Rd)
(View from U-Thong Rd)
(View of the ordination hall)
(View from the NE corner)
Marble Buddha image in attitude of preaching - Ming Dynasty 16-17th Century
(Marble Buddha image in attitude of preaching - Ming
Dynasty 16-17th Century - Chao Sam Phraya Museum
- excavated at Wat Suwannawat)
Detail of a 19th century map
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
Chao Phraya Museum - map is orientated S-N)
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
1926)
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)