Sunday, February 3, 2008

Luang Phrabhang

Bangsa Tai telah membuka kerajaan Buddha di Luang Phrabhang di Utara Siam berhampiran Laos sebelum mereka menawan kerajaan Islam Toung Oo, Burma. Sejarah ada mengatakan bahawa orang-orang Burma yang menyerang Ayuthia dalam tahun 1767, pada hal kejadian sebenarnya tidak berlaku sebegitu. Strategi mereka untuk menyerang Toung Oo terdahulu dalam tahun 1758, dengan itu telah menyebabkan ‘…Burma takes the blame for the invasion of Ayuthhaya in 1767’. Penyerang yang datang dari satu tempat, tidak semestinya berasal dari situ.

Tidak syak lagi sekiranya kita meneliti maklumat dibawah, bahawa bangsa Tai adalah penjajah negeri Siam Islam apabila mereka menyerang dan menawan Ayuthia dalam tahun 1767. Tidak hairanlah sebahagian besar wilayah selatan Thailand hari ini, termasuk Patani, terdapat penduduknya yang menganuti agama Islam. Mereka ini adalah rakyat yang DULUNYA berada dibawah Kerajaan Islam Ayuthia. Kita ikuti lapuran usaha-usaha pengkaji sejarah memulihkan semula senibina di Luang Phrabang, tempat asal usul bangsa Tai ini.

THE FUTURE OF ASIA’S PAST, “Preservation of the Architectural Heritage of Asia”, Summary of an International Conference Held in Chiang Mai, Thailand January 11 – 14, 1995

BACKGROUND

The migration of the T’ai people into the northern regions of Laos eventually led to the development of settlements and commercial centers. Luang Prabhang ’s growth was linked to its location on the Silk Road between India and China. The ancient city of Luang Prabang was located at an ideal site, on a peninsula protected on three sides by the juncture of the Nham Khah and Mekong rivers and on the fourth side by a hill. Sacred monuments were constructed on heights. Civil buildings were built at lower levels and on the river.

The architectural heritage at Luang Prabhang is more important for its modest but well- preserved styles than for its monumental architecture. The T’ai people used wood and lime-based mortar exclusively. Brick was introduced by the French and was reserved by the Laotians for sacred architecture. The French colonists used brick extensively and constructed colonial-style buildings outside the ancient city. Vietnamese workers brought to Laos by the French built their own commercial district composed of Chinese – style modular houses. Laotian style included using mortar over clay over bamboo.

PRESERVATION PLAN
As Laos has opened its doors to the outsideworld, it has focused on the need to protect its architectural heritage. It has done so on different fronts. UNESCO has worked on conservation at Luang Prabang since 1993. Nationally, the Ministry of Information and Culture, the Lao Institute of Urbanism, and Les Ateliers de la Peninsule are working together to develop a cultural heritage conservation program. St rategies have been developed to conduct an inventory of the architectural heritage throughout the country,develop preservation law’s, and organize educational programs.

A government study to develop protective zones was completed in October 1994. It identified 144 buildings in Luang Prabang for preservation . The structures selected reflect a balance of the different architectural styles from the city ’s history : t raditional Laotian, colonial Laotian, Vietnamese, and French colonial.


PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES AT THE SITE
Land prices are climbing and foreign investors are entering Luang Prabang to develop the area. Whether the Laotian government will have the political will to preserve the architectural heritageof Luang Prabang properly when confronted with lucrative development projects remains to be seen.


REMEDIES
At present, despite difficulties, the Laotian government is increasingly paying attention to thep rotection and conservation of its cultural heritage.An ef fort is being made to protect a largepart of the entire city of Luang Phrabang.Until 1996 Luang Phrabang will not be connected by road to the Laotian capital of Vientiane, so there is a short window of opportunity to preserve Luang Prabang’s heritage while the city is still relatively isolated.

Speaker : Fran├žois Greck , architect , Les Ateliers de la Peninsule, Laos.Site Management Session 14 Luang Prabang, Laos Site Management Session 1, THE FUTURE OF ASIA’S PAST, Preservation of the Architectural Heritage of Asia Summary of an International Conference Held in Chiang Mai, Thailand January 11 – 14, 1995.

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