Town (pop., 2000 prelim.: 75,898), former capital city of the Thai kingdom of Ayutthaya. It is located northeast of present-day Bangkok. Modern-day Thailand (then called Siam) is said to date from its founding (between 1347 and 1351). The kingdom of Ayutthaya was once one of the most powerful in Southeast Asia, and its capital city flourished for more than 400 years. Much of the ancient city's architecture, art, and literature was destroyed in 1767 when it was sacked by Hsinbyushin of the Alaungpaya dynasty. The modern town of Ayutthaya is set among the ruins of the ancient city. There is some manufacturing, and tourism is important. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991.
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