The Pha That Luang or “Great Stupa” is the most important Buddhist monument in Laos. The large golden stupa in Vientiane is believed to enshrine a breast bone of the Buddha. The pagoda also known as That Luang is officially named Pha Chedi Lokajulamani, which translates to “World Precious Sacred Stupa”.
The large grounds surrounding the golden stupa contain several other Buddhist structures. In front of the That Luang is a statue of King Setthathirat, King of the Lan Xang Kingdom and founder of the monument.
When the stupa was built in the 16th century, four temples were constructed around it, one on each side. Today, only two remain. To the South is the Wat That Luang Tai, an open sala like building with a three tiered roof. To the North is the Wat That Luang Neua. This is the temple where the supreme patriarch of Laos Buddhism resides. The elegant structure has a very ornate front façade and a multi tiered roof, with an ornamental Dok so faa at its center.