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Portuguese Settlement

Portuguese Settlement Portuguese Cemetery is located just to the south of Ayutthaya, lies the ruins of the Old Portuguese Settlement. The foundations of the old church with it's excavated cemetery makes a rather bizarre exhibit.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to settle in Siam. They settled in Ayutthaya, the former capital, in 1511.

At this time, Portuguese were arms traders and mercenaries. They developed in the region a trade of guns, ammunition and mercenaries to both side in the Burmese Wars with Siam.

The Portuguese wanted part of the spice trade that was until then controlled by Muslim traders. They developed a strategy of creating fortified outposts from Goa in India to Macau in China.

Hence, they settled an embassy in Ayutthaya, and they were the main foreign community, as the established ruling elite in Siam spoke Portuguese for diplomatic and trade purposes.

The Portuguese village in Ayutthaya formally started when King Ramathiboldi 11 allotted them a piece of land 3.5km south from the city.

By the reign of King Narai there were over 3,000 Portuguese living there. To be accepted by the local population, the Portuguese men intermarried with Asian ladies (the same as did the Chinese).

In the 1767, all the settlement was destroyed.

Today, the Portuguese Settlement are brick ruins.

Inside the modern building, you will discover the vestiges of an ancient church and burials with skeletons (200) of the Portuguese cemetery.

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