Angkor Wat Temple - Angkor Wat Cambodia
The city which is a temple
Date: The first half of the 12th century
Reign of construction: Suryavarman II (1113-1150)
Cult: Hinduism, Visnuit temple
Clearance work: G. Commaille (1908-1911)
Angkor Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor complex and the best preserved, is an architectural masterpiece. It is perfection in composition, balance, proportions, relief and sculptures make it one of the finest monuments in the world.
"Wat" meaning "Monastery" which was called it when it became a Buddhist Hinayanism in the 16th century.
It is generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for the king Suryavarman II symbolism between sunset and death. To see the bas-reliefs starting from left to right according to Hindu funeral ritual, to prove this function.
It is surrounding by a moat: 190m wide, 1500m from West to East; 1300m from North to South; their sandstone embankments decorated with step and curps are more than 10km long and 3m deep. This frame work is broken, in the West and East by a bridge; the West entrance one is of stone, the east one is of earth seems to have been designed temporarily during the digging of the ditches, for transporting the materials.
The laterite wall: 1025m from West to East; 800m from North to South; the bridge across the moat to the West entrance 250m; the West entrance: 255m with triple-tower and include passages connected by halls and prolongated by galleries and in splendid blind doors; behind these are ground-level passages for common people, carts and animals.
- The wall contains a series of false windows with finely, carved balusters, the surface is engraved with charming square pattern in rosettes.
The plan of Angkor Wat is hard to understand when walking through the monument because of the vastness.
It is complexity and beauty always attract the attention of the visitors. From a distance it looks like a colossal mass of stone on one level with long causeway leading to the central complex but when approaching it is a series of elevated towers, galleries, chambers, porches and courtyards on different levels linked by stairways.
Angkor Wat is a miniature replica of the universe in stone and represents an earthly model of the cosmic world. The central tower rises from the centre of the monument symbolizing the mythical mountain Meru, situated at the centre of the universe. Its five towers corresponds to the five peaks of Mount Meru; the outer wall symbolizing the chain of the mountain surrounding the universe and the Moat representing the ocean beyond. The causeway which decorated with Naga balustrade symbolizing the rainbow -- the bridge linked the world of the human being to the paradise -- the world of Gods.