Wat Sasiket, also known as Sisaket, is considered as the oldest temple in Vientiane capital city.
Information about Wat Sasiket
Wat Sasiket was built in the opposite side of the Presidential Palace by King Chao Anuvong – the last king of Lan Xang Kingdom. Even the temple was built in 1818; it still looks newer than its appearance. Unlike the most others pagoda in Laos, Sisaket Temple has an architecture of Siamese. Its reputation for the collection of more than 2000 beautiful tiny Buddha statues mainly dated from 16th to 19th century with different sizes and materials might be a unique stress.
The grounds contain well-preserved structures and a visit here will give you an excellent overview of Buddhist architecture in Laos. The sim is the inner building or congregational hall that is reserved for use by the monks. Educational signs inform us that the sim faces south, not east, and it is not parallel to the river which is unusual as it does not follow either Lao or Buddhist tradition. The ceiling is adorned with relief mouldings, a decoration that became popular in Lao religious architecture in the early 19th century. The walls are carved with niches that originally housed silver Buddha statues (now replaced with clay ones). The murals depict scenes from Jakata tales, stories about the other lifetimes of Buddha, another common feature in sacred architecture in Laos.
The Wat also contains stupas, a library of important texts, a cloister that contains 6,840 Buddha images and a kuti, sleeping quarters for the monks and novices. Vientiane’s oldest temple is still a place of study and worship to this day.