Patuxai, Vientiane 2017

Patuxai is a triumphal arch in the Laotian capital Vientiane. The 49-meter high monumental building stands at the end of the Xang boulevard and was built in the 1960s. It is next to the Pha That Luang, one of the most important monuments of the city. Formerly called “Monument to Heroes of the Royal Army,” i.e. built for Laos’ independence from France, the memorial became nameless for 20 years after 1975 with the coming to power of the Pathet Lao. Only in 1995, on the 20th anniversary of the seizure of power, did the triumphal arch receive the dedication “To the Heros of August 23, 1975”.

To date, the building is unfinished, because approved funds were used elsewhere. Here, however, cement was used, which the US had thought of when constructing an airfield during the Vietnam War. Today’s use is exclusively touristy, and climbing is possible for a small fee. From the upper platform opens up a panoramic view over Vientiane.

The ceiling on the ground floor adorn paintings with motifs and symbols of Lao Buddhism and Hindu influences. The associated park consists of palm trees and ponds of lotus flowers. The most striking is the huge fountain of light and sound, donated by China.


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