Vienchan – 28th March 1867


The next day at 1 p.m. we arrived in Vienchan…We hastened to enter the thick forest which hid the ruins of this unfortunate city. A few paths crossed it: one of them led us quickly to the site of the king’s palace. Its size was considerable and it was easy, in spite of the bushes which invaded everything, to identify the main outline. The materials were not at all durable: bricks, wood and some form of concrete or cement formed the pavement of the courtyards and the facing of the walls and the staircases. But the overall impression of the building was elegant and indicated a remarkable richness in decoration: the columns of hardwood were carefully sculpted and bore traces of gilding. Everywhere there were moldings and arabesques, carved animals guarding the entrances or supporting the bases.

The absolute silence which reigned in the enclosure of a city that formerly was so populous and so wealthy astonished us. The destruction of this capital by the Siamese happened only forty years ago, it is astounding indeed that the location has now become uninhabited!

Garnier, 1: 262










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