Angkor Wat


Angkor, Cambodia; 1113–50

History tells us time and again that ceremonial buildings are valued far more highly than functional ones. Angkor Wat (meaning ‘city temple’) was built as a temple to the Hindu god Vishnu with an associated royal palace and capital city. The local buildings that people used every day were made of timber and have disappeared, while the temple was made of intricately carved sandstone and survives as what is now a Buddhist shrine.

The city temple was built in the reign of the Khmer king Suryavarman, who until 1150 ruled an empire that included not only modern Cambodia but also Thailand, Laos and parts of Malaysia. ...

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