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Angkor Thom

UNESCO World Heritage site near Siem Reap

The largest site in the Angkor Archaeological Park, the name Angkor Thom means Big Angkor. It is a huge walled city with a moat, and was the last great capital of the Angkorian Empire. When Jayavarman VII defeated the Cham invaders in 1181, and recaptured the Angkorian capital, he instituted a massive building program throughout the empire. He constructed Angkor Thom as the new capital city, and encompassed the already existing temples of Baphuon and Phimeanakas. At its zenith, it is estimated that the city had a population of almost one million.

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Inside Angkor Thom are some of the some of the most impressive temples of the Angkorian period. To enter the city, one has to pass through one of the five huge entrance gates. There is a gate at each of the four points of the compass (north, east, south, and west), plus the so-called Victory Gate, which leads to the Royal Palace area. Each gate is topped by four giant faces, and the bridges leading to the gates are lined with statues of gods and spirits. Angkor Thom contains the famous temple of Bayon, and other important sites.

Angkor Thom

Construction Period: Late 12th to Early 13th century C.E.
Religion: Buddhist
Built by: King Jayavarman VII
Building Style: Bayon

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