Wat Phra Keo is the former royal temple of the Laotian monarchy. Originally built in 1565, it was home to the Emerald Buddha, whom the Siamese returned in 1779 and is now standing in Wat Phra Keo, Bangkok. Unlike other temples, monks never lived here. The building served solely to accommodate the Emerald Buddha.
After King Annouvong had rebuilt the temple in the 19th century, he was again destroyed during the war with Siam in 1828. Between 1936 and 1942, the building was restored. He serves as a museum today. The building is set in a well-tended garden, and exhibits include a 2,000-year-old earthenware from the Plain of Jars of the Xieng Khouang Plateau.