Wat Phra Kaeo in Kampaeng Phet

Wat Phra Kaeo appears to have been the principle royal temple of Kampaeng Phet, standing just outside the royal palace area. Like other such state temples of the time, Wat Phra Kaeo was solely a place of worship, rather than a monastery with monks in residence. The temple gets its name because the Emerald Buddha now in Bangkok was once thought to be housed here.

The pagoda of Wat Phra Kaeo
The pagoda of Wat Phra Kaeo

The main pagoda (chedi) of the temple is still in very good shape. The square base is lined with elephant and lion statues, although very few of them are still in place. Above the square base, the lowest part of the bell-shaped chedi is lined with niches containing Buddha statues.

Three Buddha Images
Three large Buddha images - one reclining and two seated - facing the pagoda.

Large halls once flanked the pagoda on both the east and west sides. In the remains of the western hall are three large Buddha images. Two are in a seated while the third is reclining in front of them. All three are facing the pagoda.