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Bayon Temple, Angkor, Cambodia

The Bayon was the last official state temple to be built at Khmer empire's capital Angkor and the only Angkorian state temple to be built primarily as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Budda. The temple was built by Khmer Buddhist king Jayavarman VII in the late XII or early XIII centuries. The temple stands right at the center of Angkor Thom (the Great City) and represents Khmer architecture baroque style striking example as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat. The Bayon is richly decorated with 216 massive stone faces and over 1.3km bas-reliefs corresponding to more than 11000 figures. The temple consist of 54 towers and is built on 3 levels: the first 2 are rectangular, while and the 3rd is circular.

Angkor is stretching over some 400 km2, including forested area and contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. The Great city and its temples remained largely cloaked by the forest until 1861, when French traveler Anri Muo discovered the site and later archeological works have started. The most famous temples are the Angkor Wat with it's classical style architecture and the baroque style Bayon Temple. Another significant element of the Angkor is the irrigation system of the region based on the great reservoirs, which provided the economic infrastructure for the successive Khmer capitals and their rulers. Angkor was placed on UNESCO's World Heritage List and considered one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia.


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