Angkor Wat Temple
Siem Reap, Cambodia
The temple lies within a moat that is 200 yards wide. Inside the moat, an outer wall 15 feet high surrounds the temple. The wall is 2.2 miles in length.
The complex was begun by Suryavarman II (ruled 1113 – c. 1150). Our guide refers to him as King S2. In 1177, about 27 years after the death of S2, Angkor was sacked by the Chams. After that a new king, Jayavarman VII, who established a new capital. Our guide calls him J7.
Our guide says that the sandstone to build the temple was brought in by raft from a quarry 25 miles away. He says that 40,000 elephants, 70,000 rafts and 8,000 engineers were used in the construction.
Within the walls, the temple rises in three different levels. At the center a single funeral jar was found. This is perhaps the most eneregy ever expended to dispose of a corpse.
There are some bullet holes in the outer walls. The Khmer Rouge occupied the temple as a military base for a time. Our guide says that he lived here when he was three. He is a funny guy. He tells lots of jokes and laughs hysterically at them.
The walls are covered witl delicate carvings. The labor involved in carving hundreds of thousands of sqaure feet of sanstone is almost unimaginable.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world, but it is only the southernmost of a whole complex of historically important structures.
The temple was abandoned to the jungle for 400 years and rediscovered by a French explorer in 1860. He wandered the jungle for seven years before stumbling upon the complex.
This is one of the library buildings inside the outer walls and outside the temple itself.
I lost ny glasses taking the library picture. Mrs. Phred forced me to leave the tour and retrace my steps to look for them. They were laying in the path only about a half mile from were we started to search.