Patuxai, Vientiane, Laos, Southeast Asia
Patuxai is a compound word, 'Patuu' or 'patu' meaning a "door" or "gateway" and 'Xai', derivative of the Sanskrit 'Jaya', which means "victory". Thus it means “Victory Gate”. The Patuxai was built during a turbulent period Lao history. It was built when Laos was a constitutional monarchy and was originally known simply as the "Anousavali" ("memory"), dedicated memory of the Laotian soldiers who died during World War II and the independence war from France in 1949.
The monument was built using American funds and cement actually intended to build a new airport. The Royal Laotian Government instead built the monument, which earned it the nickname of the "vertical runway".
The monument was designed by Tham Sayasthsena, a Laotian architect. In 1957, his plans were selected out of those submitted by the Public Works Department, the Military Engineering Department, and numerous private architects. Tham received 30,000 kips for his work. The cost of construction was estimated as 63 million kips.
In May 1975, the communist Pathet Lao overthrew the coalition government and seized power, ending the ancient monarchy and installing a half-Vietnamese prime minister. They renamed the monument Patuxai in honor of their own victory.