Angkor was the site of a
series of capital cities of the Khmer empire. Their ruins are located
amid forests and farmland to the north of the Great Lake ( Tonle Sap )
near modern day Siem Reap, Cambodia, and are a UNESCO World
Heritage Site. The number of temples at Angkor exceed one thousand
ranging in scale from piles of rubble to the magnificent Angkor Wat -
claimed to be the world's largest, single, religious monument.
Wat ( Angkor Vat) was built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th
century as his state temple and capital city. It is the largest and
best-preserved temple at Angkor and is the only one to have remained a
significant religious centre since its foundation - first Hindu (
dedicated to Vishnu ) - then Buddhist . The temple is the epitome of
the classical style of Khmer architecture and has become a symbol of
Cambodia appearing on the national flag. Angkor Wat is the country's
prime attraction for visitors.
Thom, established in the late twelfth century by king Jayavarman VII,
was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It
covers an area of 9 sq Km with the Bayon - Jayavarman's state temple -
at the centre of the city.