Angkor Wat, masterpiece of Khmer architecture • Cambodia

"Embark on a journey through time and discover the timeless majesty of Cambodia's ancient capital of Angkor, with the legendary temple-mountain of Angkor Wat featured in this captivating video of less than 4 minutes - an unforgettable experience for any history and architecture enthusiast!"
00:00 • intro | 00:30 • the temple-mountain seen from the outside | 01:15 • in the temple, bas-reliefs

made with photos and videos taken during the trip Vietnam & Cambodia • 2014

Angkor Wat

The Angkor Wat temple complex, built by Suryavarman II in the first half of the 12th century is the largest religious building in the world. It is also the only temple in Angkor to have been functional without interruption since its construction.

The Angkor Wat temple is the largest and best preserved of the temples in the Angkor region which was among the largest cities in the world in the Middle Ages.

The ancient dynasties of Khmer kings were Hindu and Angkor Wat was initially dedicated to Vishnu, while the temples of older construction were mainly dedicated to Shiva.

However, towards the end of the 12th century, the Khmer kings gradually turned away from Hinduism towards Buddhism, which explains why Angkor Wat is a Buddhist sanctuary.

 

Architecture of Angkor Wat

 

The temple of Angkor Wat is considered the pinnacle of Khmer architecture. It combines two bases of this architecture, that known as temple-mountain and that known as gallery temple.

The concept of temple-mountain consists of representing the sacred Mount Meru where the Hindu gods live (a mountain that is supposed to correspond to Mount Kaylash in the Himalayas).

The temple was probably intended to serve as a mausoleum for King Suryavarman II while becoming the most important state temple in the kingdom.

At Angkor Wat, there are no giant Buddha heads like at Angkor Thom, since the turn to Buddhism was only to take place a few decades after the construction of the temples, with King Jayavarman VII. Jayavarman VII turned away from Hinduism following some military defeats against the Cham who had invaded Angkor, before his victory and the construction of his new capital, Angkor Thom.

The state of conservation of Angkor Wat, which is clearly better than that of the other temples of the complex, is largely due to the surrounding moat, preventing tropical vegetation from invading it.

Besides the architectural feat that Angkor Wat represents, the temple contains invaluable treasures of bas-reliefs representing mainly episodes from the Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Some depict scenes from the life of King Suryavarman II, the creator of the shrine.

 

about the place, Angkor:

Angkor is certainly the best known and most visited site in Cambodia. 

The Khmer Empire dominated the Indochinese peninsula from the 9th to the 13th century. The history of this empire is a long series of wars and internal struggles for power. 

Angkor was chosen as the capital of the empire at the end of the 11th century. 

The archaeological site consists of about 200 temples and important hydraulic achievements.

 

Spoken comments in the film: 

Angkor Wat, which is considered the masterpiece of Khmer architecture, was built during the first half of the 12th century by King Suryavarman II. This set of temples was initially dedicated to Vishnu but later became a Buddhist center under Jayavarnam VII, the one who built a new capital at Angkor Thom. 

Historians believe that Angkor Wat was intended to be the mausoleum of King Suryavarman II, alongside its function as a state temple.

 

Even after the end of the monsoon, Angkor is never safe from heavy, but fortunately short, rain. Fortunately, the interior of the Angkor Wat temple is also full of treasures. The bas-reliefs recounting episodes from the great Hindu epics are remarkable.

 

What's the weather like in Angkor?

Angkor Wat • Cambodia, Angkor • Cambodia
lion and naga at the entrance to Angkor Wat, Angkor • Cambodia

lion and naga at the entrance to Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat behind its moat, Angkor • Cambodia

Angkor Wat behind its moat

buddhist monk in front of the temple, Angkor • Cambodia

buddhist monk in front of the temple

courtyard in the rain, Angkor • Cambodia

courtyard in the rain

Angkor, Cambodia

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