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Sim of the Wat That

Sim of the Wat That

Artist : Anonymous

Date : between 1907 and 1910

UNESCO World Heritage Site (Définitif) : 1995

Item 2 on 9
Place(s) of worship
Architecture (Vihan)

Area related
Luang Prabang (Laos)


The present sim, or vihan, was rebuilt between 1907 and 1910 by Chao Maha Oupahat boun Kong to replace the one that collapsed during a typhoon that struck during evening prayers in April 1900. Many lost their lives in the tragic event that destroyed many other buildings of the wat. The sim, in Luang Prabang style, was rebuilt in 1910, and then restored beginning in 1963. More recent work on it (from 1991) has created a most attractive and ornamented façade with decorated rosette columns. There are interesting relief murals in its frontal portico and decorations depict the legends of King Thao Sithoanh and the Nang Manola, the kinnari (divine half-woman/half-bird reputed for its frolicsome kindness) in addition to stories from the Phra lak phra lam (the Ramayana). The popular Laotian legend is of Khmer origin and is very popular. The sim has a double-tiered roof with a magnificent fifteen segmented "Dok So Fa" (or nhot so fa), a metallic ornamentation at the center of the roof beam. The Dok So Fa symbolizes the universe and Mount Meru and is found on most Laotian sims. This particular Dok So Fa consists of a series of pagoda forms.
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Sim of the Wat That