Haw Phra Kaew, also spelled Ho Phra Keo, Haw Phra Keow, Ho Prakeo, Ho Phra Kaew, is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha of Vientiane. It is formerly the royal temple of the Lao monarchy, and is located just across the main street, Setthathirat Road, from another major temple, Wat Si Saket. Today Haw Phra Kaew is no longer used as a place of worship, but has been turned into a museum.
Haw Phra Kaew was built by King Setthathirat in 1565 to house the Emerald Buddha (the name Haw Phra Kaew means "Image of the Jewel Buddha") which he brought with him from Chiangmai to Laos following the death of his father, King Phothisarat, resulting in his having to move from Lanna, where he was ruler, to Vientiane. The Emerald Buddha which he brought from Chiangmai is no longer in the temple. When the Siamese under General Chakri (the future King Rama I) ransacked Vientiane in 1779, they took the Emerald Buddha with them, and installed it in the Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok. Following the invasion, Ho Phra Keo was damaged. The Siamese rebuilt it somewhat, but it got damaged once again, when the Siamese mounted another invasion, in 1828 (earthdocumentary.com)
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