Angkor Thom: the last capital of Khmer Empire


Image Credit: Esin Üstün

Angkor Thom, also called Bayon Temple, is one of the greatest temples of Cambodia. It is known as the last capital of the Khmer Empire enclosing residences of priest, officials of the palace and military, as well as buildings for administering the kingdom.

It is of an earlier date during the kings of the tenth and first half of the tenth and first half of the eleventh centuries. The plan of the Royal Palace was determined including the temple-mountain of Phimeanaka and surrounding pools together with residences and buildings for administering the capital. Jayavarman VII restored the site of the Royal Palace to upright the city of Angkor Thom, which was centered on the temple of Bayon and surrounded by a wall.

Representatively, Angkor Thom is a miniature of the universe, separated into 4 parts by the main axes. The temple of the Bayon is positioned at the precise midpoint of the axes and stands as the link between heaven and earth. The wall surrounding the city of Angkor Thom represents the stoned wall around the universe and the mountain around Meru. The surrounding moat symbolizes the cosmic ocean.


Image Credit: Mark Fischer
An entry tower and along pathway cross sides of the wall except on the east where are two entrances. The additional one, called the “Gate of Victory” is associated with the walkway leading to the Terraces of the Elephants and the Leper King.


Image Credit: Charlotte Marillet

Image Credit: Claudia Schillinger


Image Credit: Million Amazing


Image Credit: Million Amazing

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