That Luang (or Pha That Luang) is a “stupa” (a place in Buddhism) in Vientiane. That Luang was built in 1566 under the reign of King Setthathirat, according to a meal above the old vestige of Indian in 13th century. The outside of the pagoda is gold-inlaid.
That Luang was destroyed in the Thai invader in 19th century; however, it was restored in the original form. The architecture of this tower pagoda contains the cultural style and character of Laos, and it becomes the national symbol which is printed in the paper money and national coat of arms of Laos.
Nowadays, no car is allowed to come inside, but before visitors would drive around for visiting. According to the legend, there is part of Buddha which is a hair and many gems and treasure.
That Luang contains one main tower of 45m high and the other red lacquer trimmed with gold tower. The structure of That Luang is the Buddhist tower which originated from India, but it is combined the ratio between color and shape, which makes the difference in this tower of Laos. It is not similar to any other Buddhist tower in India or in South East Asia. The grandiose and special of That Luang expresses the talent of Laos’s people 450 years ago.
It was said that, in 236 according to Buddhist calendar (third century B.C), there were five monks in Laos After finishing the course in India, they came back and bring the knee bone of the Buddha. Five monks came to Vientiane and persuaded the head of the city that they should build That Luang to preserve that part of Buddha, and he was happy to agree and built this tower pagoda.
In 1563, after the winning of military in the revolution against invaders of Burma in Hatsoi, King Setthathivat moved the capital from Luang Phrabang to Vientiane due to the strategic reason. Here, he built the citadels, castles, palaces. In 1566, he built That Luang in an old pagoda, about 2km from Vientiane. In 1911, after researching That Luang, the French scientist named Henri Parmentier discovered the main lean part of this tower had cover the old another tower.
That Luang is the main architecture of pagoda. That Luang is one of the biggest Buddhist tower in Laos. The main part of tower is risen like an elegant and majestic arrow. The base of it is a lotus shape which square and quite complicated. The base is the square steps which are smaller in the top. In the top, there is a firm base for the gourd standing.