Wat Visun
Founded in 1512 during the peaceful reign of King Visun, the wat symbolized the unity of the Kingdom.   Twelve tall support pillars used for the construction of the Sim were obtained from various parts of the Kingdom and shipped along the Mekong River.  The wat is apparently located on the rice fields of the Devata Luang, Phou Nheu, and Nha Nheu, as well as being the location where two legendary holy men were said to have laid one of the settlement's boundary stones.  The sacred Pra Bang image of the Buddha was enshrined here from 1513 until 1707 when it was taken to Vientiane.  Upon its return, the image was housed here from 1867 until 1887 when bandits torched the wat.  A new building was constructed in 1898 on the same location.
Located across an esplanade in front of the wat, the massive Singhalese inspired Tat Phathoum (Lotus Stupa) originally built in 1514 is more commonly known as Tat Mak Mo (Watermelon Stupa) because of its shape.  The original stupa was destroyed during an invasion in 1887 but was subsequently rebuilt in 1898.  During heavy rains in 1914, the stupa collapsed revealing many important religious objects which were previously buried within the structure, the most significant of which are currently on display in the Throne Room in the Luang Prabang Museum.  In 1932, the stupa was reconstructed and restored.   During the annual new year festivities, Phou Nheu and Nha Nheu perform their mythical dance on the adjoining grounds between Wat Visun and Tat Phathoum.


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2002 SEAsite Laos.  Wat Visun