St Joseph's Church

St Joseph's Church

A relic of the French

More on Ayutthaya
Head east from Wat Chaiwatthanaram to check out St Joseph’s Church with its large amber tower looming over the south bank of the Chao Phraya.
Travelfish says:

Once the Vicariate centre of Siam, the church served as a base for French Catholic missionaries during the later Ayutthaya period.

Originally made of wood and revamped with bricks, the church fell into disrepair when, in 1688, French missionaries were banished from the Kingdom after their attempt to convert the Thai king to Christianity failed spectacularly. The French were allowed back a few years later but Christianity never took off in Siam, and the church was partially destroyed in the 1767 Burmese invasion.

In the 1830s, a French Catholic priest rebuilt the church with the help of Vietnamese Catholics. Today it hosts a functioning congregation with regular Sunday services held in Thai. The inside is usually locked when services aren’t going on, but some lovely stained-glass windows can be seen if you get inside. Expect to navigate a sea of uniformed kids if you arrive when the neighbouring school is letting out.

Transport information

From Wat Chaiwatthanaram, follow the roads that run closest to the river and keep an eye out for blue signs pointing the way to St Joseph's Church.

Contact details for St Joseph's Church

Address: South of the island
Coordinates (for GPS): 100º33'1.06" E, 14º20'19.76" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: Free

Reviewed by

David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.

Tours in Thailand


These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.


Our top 10 other sights and activities in and around Ayutthaya

Wat Lokkayasutharam
Wat Lokkayasutharam

A striking reclining Buddha

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and the Ancient Palace
Wat Phra Sri Sanphet and the Ancient Palace

The old capital's centrepiece

Wat Ratchaburana
Wat Ratchaburana

Be sure to go inside the crypt

Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon

Get ready for a climb

Wat Phutthaisawan
Wat Phutthaisawan

An underrated temple

Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Wat Chaiwatthanaram

A striking Khmer-inspired complex

Chantharakasem National Museum
Chantharakasem National Museum

Attractive palace

Wat Phra Ram
Wat Phra Ram

More tranquil than most

Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bophit
Wiharn Phra Mongkhon Bophit

Home to a revered Buddha image

Wat Na Phra Men
Wat Na Phra Men

An important and active temple