Events in World Historical Perspective
The Khmer empire with its capital at Angkor reached its height in the 12th century with territories covering present day Cambodia, much of southern Vietnam, and Laos.  Towards the end of the following century, approximately two decades after Kublai Khan's death in 1294, Fa Ngum was born.   Just over a century after Fa Ngum established Lan Xang as the first Lao Kingdom, Gutenberg introduced the printing press to Europe in 1445.  Half a century later, in 1492, Columbus reached America.  Within a few years of Wat Visun being built, Michaelangelo began to paint the Sistine Chapel in 1508.  Four years after Wat Xieng Thong was built, Shakespeare was born in 1564.  In the 17th century, Laos established first contact with Europeans.  Just over 100 years after the British and Dutch East India companies were founded, relations between Vientiane and Luang Prabang were severed in 1707.  Not long after the captured Pra Keo and the Pra Bang images of the Buddha were installed in Bangkok in 1781, Britain recognized the independence of the American colonies, and several years later the colony of Australia was founded.  In 1867, the same year that the Pra Bang image was finally returned to Luang Prabang, the first contingent of French colonists arrived.


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2002 SEAsite Laos.  Events in World Historical Perspective