The Portuguese Village


The Portuguese were the first Westerners to trade with Ayutthaya in the reign of King Ramathibodi II. They brought with them modern technology and guns, and this made them popular in Ayutthaya. Some volunteered to serve in the army to fight in wars. Their contribution persuaded the King to allocate them a piece of land on the Chao Phraya River to build their homes, to establish a church for the dissemination of Christianity, and to serve as the centre of their community. Part of the construction that remains today is San Pedro Church or the Dominican Church that was the venue for their religious rites. This first church to be built in Thailand was located almost at the centre of the Portuguese Village. During the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, the Portuguese Village, like other foreign villages, was razed and became deserted.