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Angkor Tom

Photos and description

Angkor Thom ("Great city"), located on the territory of modern Cambodia was the last and most fortified capital of the Khmer Empire. The city was founded in the late twelfth century by king Jayavarman VII on the banks of the river Siem reap. On a total area of 9 km2 is home to several monuments of the early ages, and later established by the successors of the king. The complex consists of several buildings. Inside the city walls are the temples of Bayon, Phimeanakas, Baphuon, terrace of elephants, terrace of the Leper king, the tomb Palilay, TEP Pranam and Prasat Suor Prat.

South gate of Angkor Thom is 7.2 km North of Siem reap, and 1.7 km North of entrance to Angkor Wat. The eight-meter wall of laterite with a parapet in the upper part surrounds the enclosing ditch. The gate, placed to the cardinal points, lead to the Bayon temple in the centre of the city. Nearby are 23 towers carved with the faces, they added to the main structure later and have an unclear meaning and ambiguous to be interpreted by researchers.

On every corner of the city wall erected temples of Sandstone and dedicated to Avalokiteshvara. Each temple has the shape of a cross with an open porch, the top is crowned with lotuses. Bunk base supports the Church, in niches and false Windows visible images of female figures. Most of the ruins of Angkor are large-scale bas-reliefs depicting various gods, goddesses and other beings from the myths and epics of ancient Hinduism. Also found pictures of animals - elephants, snakes, fish, monkey and dragon creatures.

Royal Palace located in the center of Angkor Thom, constructed earlier than the others and refers to the first half of XI century. Survived the Foundation and walls of the Palace and the towers at the entrance, the interior is missing, presumably they were wooden and have not survived.

According to research by French scientists, in the complex of the Royal Palace included a temple-mountain, the Phimeanakas, the surrounding pools, residential premises and government agencies. In old manuscripts describing Angkor Thom, stated that in the centre of the architectural ensemble stood a Golden tower of Bayon and surrounded by more than twenty smaller towers and several hundred stone chambers. On the East side stood a Golden bridge with two statues of lions, eight gold Buddhas were located along the stone chambers. To the North of the Golden tower stood a residence of the king and another tower of gold. The entire complex has made an indelible impression on those who first fell on his territory.

Five gates with towers are one of the most photographed monuments of all the ancient Cambodian ruins. Each Sandstone tower rises 23 meters, decorated with four heads, facing in opposite directions. In the bottom half of each gate is a bas-relief of an elephant with three heads and sits astride the Hindu God Indra with lightning in the lower left hand. Visible inside the sentry-box on each side.