That Luang – The national symbol of Laos in Vientiane

A gold-covered large Buddhist stupa and one of most impressive religious structures in Laos. It was founded in the 3rd century to house the breastbone of Buddha, which was brought to Laos by an Indian missionary. King Saysetthathirath ordered the construction of Pha That Luang in 1566.

The architecture of the building includes many references to Lao culture and identity / Image source

In 1828, That Luang was destroyed by the Thai invasion. It was redesigned and then rebuilt in the 1930s. During the Franco-Thai War of 1940-41, the monument was severely damaged during a Thai air raid. After the end of World War II, That Luang was rebuilt.

The bases of structure has a length of 69 meters each and was 45 meters high, and was surrounded by 30 small Stupas. The encircling walls contain a large number of Lao and Khmer sculptures including one of Jayavarman VII. Only the pinnacle is covered in real gold, the remainder of the stupa is painted a gold color.

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