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date: 18 August 2019


  • Pierre Pichard


City in upper Burma on the Irrawaddy River, 11 km south of Mandalay. It was the capital of the Burmese kings of the Konbaung dynasty from 1782, the year of its foundation, to 1823 and again from 1837 to 1860. It was built on a strictly square plan, surrounded by a wall and a moat. Each side of the wall measured 1.6 km and had three gates leading into the main streets that divided the city into equal square blocks, with a great wooden palace at its centre. The palace was dismantled in 1857, and its materials reused to build the new royal capital, Mandalay.

The major monuments of Amarapura are located outside this central square. They include the Naga-yon Temple with its superstructure in the form of a gigantic guardian serpent; the large Kyauk-taw-gyi Temple built in 1847 on the model of the Ananda at Pagan, and famous for its mural paintings depicting scenes of daily life; the tall Pahto-daw-gyi Stupa (...

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