The sanctuary of Truth
Made entirely of wood (no metal nails) and commanding a celestial view of the ocean, the Sanctuary of Truth is best described as a visionary environment: part art installation, religious shrine and cultural monument. The ornate temple-like complex was conceived by Lek Viriyaphant, a Thai millionaire who spent his fortune on this and other heritage projects (such as Ancient City near Bangkok) that revived and preserved ancient building techniques and architecture in danger of extinction. In this case, the building will continue to support hand-hewn woodworking skills because it has been under construction for 30 years and still isn’t finished.
The sanctuary is constructed in four wings dedicated to Thai, Khmer, Chinese and Indian religious iconography. Every inch of the 20-storey-tall building is covered with wood carvings of Hindu and Buddhist gods and goddesses – an artistic consolidation of centuries of religious myths under one unifying roof for greater spiritual enlightenment. For non-Buddhists the experience will be more educational than transcendent as much of the symbolism will be unfamiliar. Regardless, the building and setting are beautiful and the architecture is impressive.
There is nobody denying that the Sanctuary of Truth is one of most interesting attractions in Pattaya. Wooden architecture of the building is similar to the architecture of Ayutthaya era, approximately 400 years ago. Therefore, the Sanctuary of Truth not only is very beautiful, but also able to preserve skills and knowledge of ancient times. One of most interesting points of the Sanctuary of Truth is that it has not been completed.
The English name of this attraction is "Sanctuary of Truth", but the name in Thai language is different, Prasat Satchatham. The term of "Prasat" In Thai language means "Castle" in English language, while "Satchatham" means "philosophy". It would be easier to talk to or ask Thai people about this Pattaya attraction by using the term of Prasat Satchatham.
Every part of the Sanctury of truth or Prasat Satchatham is embellished with solely wood carving, without any cement or metal at all. Even locks that tie wood-curving objects together are also wooden-made. The building consists of wood sculptures of deities, angels, Brahman, King of Nagas, and so on. These would reflect to the ancient vision: the relationship of human and universe, knowledge, and philosophy. There are staffs to give explanation and knowledge to visitors as well. Note that, if visitors would like to look at all of the sculptures carefully, it would take the visitors more than a day.
As mention above that the body of the building has not been completed yet, it has always been developed and also repaired for any deterioration. For this reason, visitors need to wear a safety helmet provided, and because the body of the building is wooden-made, it is not allowed to smoke inside.
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