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This article examines the establishment of Vientiane as the new capital of the Lan Xang Kingdom during the reign of King Xaysetthathirath or Xaysettha (1560-1571). Data were gathered through the historical approach from contemporaneous stele, chronicles, legends, maps, books, and research both in Thai and Lao. The article argues that favorable geographical conditions and networking power were the key factors in moving the capital to Vientiane in 1560. Vientiane was designated as a Buddhist center by King Xaysetthathirath through adevoted temple building. Through the building of the Pha That Luang and preservation of the Emerald Buddha, Vientiane was symbolically made into a Buddhist center. Vientiane thus became important as both a power center and a new capital city that merged in people’s minds.
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