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date: 26 August 2019

Ava [anc. Ratnapura]locked

  • Pierre Pichard

Extract

[anc. Ratnapura]

City in Upper Burma at the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Myitnge rivers. It was founded c. 1365 as the third capital of the Shan rulers previously established at Pinya and Sagaing. In 1635 it became the capital of the Burman Toungoo dynasty. It was not finally abandoned as a royal capital until 1841 in favour of Amarapura. In contrast to the usual plan of Burmese cities (see Burma, §III), Ava was built with its citadel, the plan of which was a rectangle with the two longer sides curving slightly outwards, at the north-east corner of an irregular, redented city wall. The wooden royal palace in the centre of the citadel and most of the other structures were either destroyed by the catastrophic earthquake of 1838 or dismantled three years later when the capital was definitively moved to Amarapura, 10 km to the north-east. The ruined Baga-ya-kyaung was, with its 267 teak posts, one of the largest wooden monasteries built....

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