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Patuxai Monument

Listed under Monuments & Landmarks in Vientiane, Laos.

Photo of Patuxai Monument
Photo by flickr user Californian Em
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All the sources call this arch the Laos Arc de Triomphe. Straddling only one road it is topped by a central tower with square walls and a rounded roof and two smaller towers along the same lines. Both the bottom of the arch at street level and the top of the arc are covered in interesting stonework.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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Patuxai (Anousavaly) Monument, symbol of the Laotian unit.

Comments on Patouxai - Vientiane Laos

Patouxai - The true of Lao's Architecture Engineering Design and Arts

A Truly Art of Works Architected and Designed by an inspiring capable Laotian “Tham SAYASITHSENA” recognised among world western foreigners and neighbouring countries as mistakenly believe the monument was designed by the French. In actual fact it was designed by an Architect Lao citizen.… As an Laotian borned, I’m very proud of the Architect...The Arts are strongly inspired from the famous 15th centuary’s Stupa the “THAT LUANG”. The Patouxai have four Archway entries, the French “Arc de Triomphe” have two Archway entries. Definitively Architecture and Design’s wild, it’s not a copy or modeled of the French “Arc de Triomphe” in design. By coincidence and how GENIUS it is, the Patouxay Arch looks very “Prestigious and Ambitious” with wonderful Lao Arts, and stand resemblant in shape to the French “Arc de Triomphe” when looking far from distance. A part from that, the front main avenue “Lane Xang” adds up to the prestige, give the avenue a view looks harmonious to the French avenue the “Champs Elysee”. In many eyes of million foreigners tourists visitors , this place fell like the famous French “Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysee” place in Paris. Amazingly the Patuxai photos appears in almost every important Stock Photo Art Galleries Website poster for sales proving that is also one of the most prestigious monument in the world.

Patuxai. “Explore Laos” classify #8 of 12 Monumental Triumphal Arches.

The Critics

Sadly, the Government doesn’t seems to express much interests to this monument, dispite many thousand visitors every year. Let this marvellous monument’s privilege down, faded away in front of themshelves and the country. The poor, nonsense, ironic, discriminated of the description painted on the southwest corner shows in few lines reflects both Lao’s endearing honesty and naivety to ‘First World’ preoccupations like marketing. One sentence said: “From a closer distance, it appears even less impressive, like a monster of concrete; showing of brutal honesty”. It also refers to the fact that it was made using concrete donated for an Airport giving the monument is nickname of Vientiane's "vertical runway". This sign of shames has been seen, remarked and notified in mind by many thousand visitors. There is nothing to honor, award, or show respects to this Laotian citizen who has given so much for the country, reveal authenticity of the true Lao’s Arts Architectures and Designs. The name of the designer was totally omitted, didn’t even mentioned in the information sign. Why the Government let this refer to the so called “Vertical Runway” (written by an idiot western reporter without any respect to Lao people), is still keeping this ironic, insult, irrelevant poor sign of informations observed by million visitors eyes.

The History:

A monument will not take its true rise that if it expresses an unconscious collective. When, defying time and space, its force symbolic system sticks so much to the image of the city which its architectural beauty creates with it only a shock compared to all that surrounds it. What symbolizes very well Patuxai, a Triumphal arch Mekong version, which for recent that it is (1962), is not less already completely integrated of it into the image of Vientiane, provisional capital of the ASEAN.

Vientiane, that shows through as of the first glance, incontestably kept its small air of deep France, an atmosphere of softness and user-friendliness which differentiates it from the start of these odds and ends which became the majority of the modern Asian cities incorporating itself today around immense motorways. This type of development will not have course here where the means are less and the model so openly different. Of liking or force, Laos preaches its own values, its secular culture, its version of the accession at modern times. It is all this ambient particularism which makes of Patuxai an architectural work intended to cross time.

Realized according to the project of the architect Tham Sayasithsena who had made his studies in Paris, it was set up between the end of the colonial period and the beginning of the war of Vietnam, in order to honour the memory with the unknown soldier died for what was at the time a fragile kingdom, though already plain under only one and even administration.

Paradoxically, Patuxai (or Arch of the Victoire) would never have been born, at least in its current form, without the gift by the Americans of 6000 tons concrete taken on the surpluses generated by construction of the new tracks of the airport of the capital…

Loan to face eternity, it acquired its truly national dimension when the population of Vientiane gathered there in mass, as the Parisian ones at the time of the storming of the Bastille did it, to reverse the mode on December 2, 1975, date official of the advent of the Democratic Popular Republic of Laos (event which each annçe commemorates an immense procession where, by interminable lines of nine, the inhabitants of the capital pay homage to the Fatherland).

Unspoilable view

Located at the top of Lane Xang (the avenue of the million elephants), the Elysées Fields of the city, Patuxai throne in the middle of its clean “park of Tileries” (arranged in 2004 thanks to a gift of 15 million dollars of Popular China to commemorate the first session of the ASEAN) such invincible concrete Samouraï under its armour open on the four corners of the horizon and placed under the constant guard of eight dragons. Directly inspired by Taj Mahal, its architectural harmony rests on figures 3, 7 and 8; reference express to its Buddhist implication. Each tower measurement 24 meters (3 X 8) on the basis of square itself of 24 meters.

The unit comprises 7 stages and culminates exactly with 49 meters (7 X 7), in accordance with the guns of the architectural style lao, to start with famous PhaThat Luang. Large the stupa is as deeply anchored in the unconscious collective lao as are it, for our part, our more beautiful cathedrals.

For the visit, it will cost you 2000 kips of it if you are Laotian and 3000 if you are tourist (0,25 euro), for the climbing of 162 steps leading to the various rooms before arriving at height of the first panorama. You for the pleasure offer the 27 last by climbing the spiral staircase which leads to the top of the central tower. You will discover there any Vientiane with 15 kilometers with the round, the large rectilinear arteries which converge there, the curve of Mekong, a package of antennas GSM, a myriad of red roofs and the perfect geometry of this famous park to the fountains “its and lights”.

While going down again, take time to traverse the various galleries external decorated with innumerable so particular Buddhist sculptures of the tendencies with Laotian art, Bai If on the topic of the petal of lotus borrowed from That Luang, and the Nagas snakes, another emblem if it is country. Finished 90% of the consent even of its creators, the memorial of Patuxai answers incontestably its vocation of national union and would deserve some installations and a rough-casting with height of its genesis. Visit not to miss, this temple of independence is the emblematic expression of the inhabitants of the country of the million elephants, the heart of the people lao.

Alain Sapanhine

1 Reply

Hi Ngnay, Thanks for your comments - we can't post comments from elsewhere or links, so I've edited this down to what I assume is your own text? If not, please let me know.

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