|KHLONG PRATU CHAI
|Text & maps by Tricky Vandenberg - November 2013
|Khlong Pratu Chai or the Victory Gate Canal is a defunct canal once situated on
Ayutthaya's city island in Pratu Chai Sub-district.
The south-north running short canal had its mouth at the old Lopburi River (at present the
in 1857 deviated Chao Phraya River) in front of Wat Tha Rap and linked up with a canal
connecting Khlong Chakrai Yai and Khlong Chakrai Noi.
The canal pierced the fortified city wall at the Victory Gate, a large water gate (1) in
between Wat Khok Khemi / Wat Khok Yai Mi and Wat Prasat. The canal has been
filled up somewhere after the fall of Ayutthaya (1767) and no traces of the waterway are
left today. Khlong Pratu Chai must have ran on today's premises of Ayutthaya Hospital.
Khlong Pratu Chai is indicated on the two oldest maps of Ayutthaya namely Kaempfer's
drafted map and Bellin's map; both indicate Victory Gate Canal. On Phraya Boran
Rachathanin's map of 1926 as on a 1957 FAD map we still find an indication of the
existence of Khlong Pratu Chai (running east of Wat Khok Yai Mi), but PBR did not
denominate the canal.
(1) Phraya Boran Rachathanin [PBR] marked the Victory Gate as a land gate at the
southern end of Maha Rathaya Street (Main Street). In "Atibai Phaenthi Phra Nakhon Sri
Ayutthaya" (page 49, footnote17) PBR writes that the sequence of Victory Gate and
Chakrai Noi Gate are in the wrong order and that the Chakrai Noi Gate is at the canal
going directly north. In footnote 18 he notes that Victory Gate is a land gate instead of a
water gate. The maps of kaempfer and Bellin indicate clearly that Victory Gate was a
water gate and not a land gate.
|(Detail of Kaemfer's drafted map - Anno 1690)
|(Detail of Bellin's drafted map - Anno 1750)
|(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
|(Detail of a 1957 Fine Arts Department map)