COSMOS GLOBAL: Thailand (Siam, A Glorious Kingdom of the Past)

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Cosmos Global: Siam, A Glorious Kingdom of the Past
Ullman, Frank - Television Director

Catalogue Number: CDG-DVD-144
UPC: 883629300900

The magnificent history of Siam began in 1253, when several small kingdoms in the north of the country united and thus laid the foundation for the first true kingdom of the Thai people. Bangkok, the present metropolis and capital of Thailand, first attained importance at the end of the 18th century under the newly developed Chakri Dynasty, when it became their seat of government. The epoch of the Chakri kings still exists today, and although the great palace district no longer serves as the king's residence, it is still one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok.

Wat Suthat is located in the eastern district of old Bangkok and is one of the city's oldest temples. Construction of the temple began shortly after the coronation of the first Chakri monarch, King Rama the First. Prior to its completion during the reign of King Rama the Third, three other kings were responsible for the creation of the Buddhist sanctuary that covers an area of more than 40,000 square metres.

For more than four centuries, Ayutthaya was one of the most prosperous royal cities in Indochina before the internal power struggles of various rival members of the country's royal family led to the city's decline. Wat Mahathat, one of the oldest sanctuaries of the ancient capital, has one of the tallest and most impressive towers in Ayutthaya. King Boromaracha the Second had the temple built in honor of his two brothers, who had killed each other in a bitter and bloody struggle for the royal throne.

Buddhism has always played a vital role in Thailand's history. It continues to be highly influential to the present day. The remains of the "Temple of the Seven Rows of Chedis," the Wat Chedi Jet Thaew, is the greatest Buddhist monastery in Si Satchanalai. Within its 32 stupas are the cremated remains of various members of the kings who ruled over the northern region of Siam.

Even now, the legendary kingdom of Siam, along with its fascinating cultural heritage, age-old traditions and outstanding historic monuments, has a substantial influence in the modern Thailand of today.

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