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Ancient Architecture : Angkor Wat

10 Elective History




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Angkor Wat is a temple complex in the province of Siem Reap, Cambodia originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu in the 12th century CE

The Conversation

It was built in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II, one of the most famous kings of the Angkorian civilization that lasted from approximately the ninth to 15th centuries. The structure is so strongly associated with Cambodian identity even today that it appears on the nation’s flag.


See what the world's largest temple -- designed by ancient architects to inspire awe and wonder -- looked like in its original splendor.

How to build Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត or "Capital Temple") is a temple complex inCambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. It was first aHindu and later a Buddhist temple. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmer:យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia,[appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.

Asian Historical Architecture


Angkor Wat is a spectacular temple in central Cambodia, built by the vanished Khmer empire. It was constructed during the reign of King Suryavarman II, who ruled from 1113 to at least 1145

Sonneman (password protected)

The impressive architecture of Angkor Wat conveys a sense of harmonious design, but a recent survey using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), coupled with targeted excavation, reveals a more complex picture. Fragmentary traces of a quincunx of earlier towers have been detected, which were partially demolished when the outer enclosure and western gateway were completed.

National Geographic

Angkor Wat was like no other medieval building in the world when it was built. But how did the Cambodians build such an impressive monument?


"Angkor's overall layout was originally enclosed by a vast wall (now almost completely vanished) within which was a wide moat embracing the entire temple compound.