Like a lotus blossom, five towers made of artfully designed sandstone rise in the middle of a spacious area. It is precisely these towers that form the striking center of Angkor Wat, the most important temple complex in Cambodia.
The Khmer legacy
According to topschoolsintheusa, the Angkor Wat is located near Siem Reap and is one of the world’s largest temple complexes. The Angkor region was once the focal point of the infamous Khmer kingdom and the buildings of Angkor Wat still bear witness to the architecture of this people. The temple complex had an eventful history before the first restoration work on Angkor Wat began in the 20th century. The civil war and the cruel rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia interrupted the work, but could not harm the structures. Today the Angkor Wat is the national symbol of the country Cambodia and also adorns its national flag.
Inspired by a lotus flower
The Angkor Wat complex, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992, is surrounded by a moat and, unlike other temples, faces west. This is the direction of the death god Yama. It is believed that Angkor Wat was built as a mortuary temple for the ruler Suryavarman II. In the center are those towers that resemble a lotus flower. The temple walls are artfully decorated with a wide variety of motifs. In addition to this central part of Angkor Wat, the Bayon is also particularly noticeable. It shows elements of both Buddhism and Hinduism. What is striking about Angkor Thom, on the other hand, are the numerous face towers that were built in the 13th century and are a popular photo motif. The buildings of Angkor Thom are surrounded by a still preserved city wall.
The Ta Prohm temple, on the other hand, is mystical and mysterious. Surrounded by a wall, there are also those eye-catching face towers that are distinctive for the early Bayon style. What makes this part of Angkor Wat so exciting is the vegetation and the semi-derelict state of the buildings. The gigantic roots of the strangler fig and the Tetrameles nudiflora have overgrown the masonry over the years and give a spectacular impression. Visitors to Ta Prohm are on the trail of the action hero Lara Croft. The temple served as an adventurous backdrop for the filming of Tomb Raider. Around 1000 completely different temple complexes have so far been uncovered in the Angkor region. The work is still ongoing and it is to be expected that Angkor Wat will be much more extensive than previously expected.
The Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh is considered to be one of the most notable Buddhist temples in Cambodia. The pagoda, originally built in 1892, owes its name to the floor covered with silver tiles, which today is covered with carpets except for a few square meters. Tourists and travelers can only imagine the splendor of the elaborately made tiling in France.
A visit to green and gold Buddhas
Nevertheless, a visit to the magnificent building, which is in direct sight of the Cambodian royal palace, is worthwhile. In addition to the impressive green Buddha statue, which gave the temple its official name “Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot” (“Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha”), there is another figure worth seeing: a life-size Buddha made of solid gold, the is set with thousands of diamonds.
Behind the detailed facade of the silver pagoda, visitors can also discover numerous art treasures that should also make the hearts of those taking part in a study trip beat faster. A wide variety of statues and portraits testify to the rich cultural past of the Khmer and bring the history of Cambodia to life.
A place of history and religion
Not only the treasures inside the pagoda tell of the history of the Khmer, but also the sights on the area around the building: Here you can marvel at an equestrian statue of King Norodom, the royal pavilion and a footprint of the Buddha.
It remains to be mentioned that the opening times of the Silver Pagoda are very tight and that the place is usually visited by many tourists at once. In addition, it is forbidden to take photos inside the pagoda or to enter the building with shoes.