Wat Xieng Thong
Under Royal patronage until 1975, Wat Xieng Thong is located close to the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan Rivers where according to legend, two holy men with extraordinary powers placed one of four boundary stones establishing the settlement known as Xieng Dong-Xieng Thong.  In 1887, it was the only wat to have escaped destruction by foreign aggressors because their leader had utilized it as his headquarters.
A magnificent example of the Luang Prabang architectural style, the Sim was built in 1560 by King Setthathirath in memory of Chanthaphanith whose story is illustrated in black and gold-stenciled designs inside the building.  Inside the Sim, richly decorated wooden columns support a ceiling vested with dhammachakkas (dharma wheels).  The outer walls depict the legends of Thao Sisouthane and Thao Souttasom.  The rear gable is decorated with a beautiful glass mosaic of the tree of life, which was produced in the 1960s at the same time as several mosaics were created in the former Royal Palace.
Built upon the death of King Sisavong, the Funerary Pavilion houses a royal funerary carriage with numerous naga heads carved by the famous Lao sculptor Thit Tan, as well as a collection of religious objects.   The building is renowned for its carved and gilded wooden ornamentation, which was produced in 1962 and recounts several episodes from the Ramayana.
The Sanctuary of the Reclining Buddha, known more commonly as the Red Chapel, is renowned for the exquisite glass mosaics on the exterior walls which were created in 1957 to commemorate the 2500th anniversary of the Buddha's birth.  The scenes recount the story of Sieo Sawath, a hero from classical literature who was famous for his wisdom.


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2002 SEAsite Laos.  Wat Xieng Thong