Patuxai Victory Monument

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Patuxai Victory Monument
Patuxai Victory Monument
Patuxai Victory Monument is one of Lao’s most noticeable landmarks. The Patuxai or Patuxay was built in the 1960’s as a memorial for those who gave their lives serving their country in several wars.

Architecture

The monument has five towers  that represent the five principles of coexistence among nations of the world. They are also representative of the five Buddhist principles of “thoughtful amiability, flexibility, honesty, honor and prosperity”.

Laos style ceiling decoration
Laos style ceiling decoration

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The monument has gateway on four sides oriented towards the four cardinal directions. The East-West gateways open to the Long Xang Avenue, which is used during ceremonial national parades. In front of each gate, there is a pond. The four ponds represent the open section of a lotus flower (which represent reverence of Laotians to the brave warriors of the nation). The four corners of the gateways are adorned by statues of a Naga King (mythical symbols of Laos), with a depiction signifying spraying of a jet of water (suggesting nature, fertility, welfare and happiness) into the ponds on the ground.

Two concrete staircase wind up from inside the main structure, passing through each floor, right up to the top of the monument.

Patuxai Victory Monument
Patuxai Victory Monument

Viewing galleries are provided on the upper floors. The first floor has mainly the offices of the management of the monument. The second floor is an important are where a museum is housed, displaying statues and pictures of the iconic heroes and heroines of the country.

The next level is an open space where four towers are built at the four corners. These towers have been decorated with frescoes of foliage. The towers are also fitted with electric lights, which are switched on during the national day and other important festivals.

The small towers, with temple like ornamentation, are designed in the Laotian style and are provided with spires. Each tower has a stairway. Apart from the four corner towers, there is another central larger tower above this floor, which also has staircase which leads to the top floor that has the viewing platform from where a panoramic view of Vientiane could be seen.

View from the top of Patuxai Monument
View from the top of Patuxai Monument

How to get there

Vientiane is such a small city that it is easy to get around on foot, by bicycle, or by tuk-tuk. To get to Patuxai Victory Monument, head north-east from the Presidential Palace near the river and follow Thanon Lane Xang for five blocks until you see the imposing sight of the Patuxai arch.

Location: Patuxai is situated at the far end of Thanon Lane Xang in the government and diplomatic district. The monument sits on the large ‘island’ formed where the avenue splits into two, opposite the Ministry of Justice to the south and the Prime Minister’s office to the north.

Opening Hours: From 08:00 to 16:30 on Mondays to Fridays, and 08:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.

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