It is believed Wat (temple) Chedi Luang was the most impressive temple in Chiang Mai. Built about 600 years ago, the huge chedi which give the temple its name must have soared high above the surrounding city. The chedi was mostly destroyed within a few hundred years of its construction. Some say it was an earthquake in the 17th century that did the deed; others say it was King Taksin's cannons firing on the city to chase out the Burmese in the 18th century.
The chedi has been partially reconstructed, but the spire has not been recreated since nobody can be sure what it looked like.
Wat Chedi Luang was also important because for a short time it housed the most important object in Thailand, the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha is now in its own temple in Bangkok.