Saint Joseph Church in Ayutthaya – the Oldest Church in Thailand

When my wife and I visited Ayutthaya Historical Park last year, we ended the day at a restaurant called Ruean Kanya to try out the famous giant river prawns. While sitting along the Chao Praya River, I noticed a building on the other side which I googled later and found out was a church named St. Joseph Church. This lovely little church, bright yellow in color, is the oldest Catholic church in Thailand. It was built in 1666 following a request of the Vietnamese missionaries headed by French Bishop Lambert de la Motte.

st-josephs-churchPhoto credit: ใต้เพิง trekkingthai.com

During the Burmese attack on Ayutthaya in 1767, the church was destroyed. Between 1831 and 1847, the church was restored in a more Rococo style. The church is located inside the Catholic school.

big-schrimp (3)St. Joseph Church, right on picture, as viewed from Ruean Kanya Restaurant along Chao Phraya River.

How getting there: When we arrived at Ayutthaya Historical Park, we hired a tuk-tuk. Some people rent bicycles or scooters. If you do so, go west and cross the Chao Phraya river on the 3263 road bridge. Then make a left to the south and pass by the Wat Chaiwatthanaram. Go on the road till you reach the 3469. Make a left again and drive a few hundred meters and you will see signs for the church on the left.


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