Angkor Wat
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Architect unknown
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Location Cambodia, Southeast Asia   map
Date 1140   timeline
Building Type Hindu temple
 Construction System stone masonry carved in place
Climate tropical
Context rural
Style Khmer Hindu
Notes Perhaps world's largest religious structure.




Photo, exterior

More Images
Aerial view of Angkor Wat


More images available on The GBC CD-ROM.   Contributions appreciated



Plan Drawing

Perspective engraving


Discussion Angkor Wat Commentary

"Angkor's overall layout was originally enclosed by a vast wall (now almost completely vanished) within which was a wide moat embracing the entire temple compound. Through a propylaea one traverses a lengthy causeway to the outermost of three walled, nearly square palisades that enclose the temple area proper. Continuing past courtyards containing two libraries and places for meditation, one arrives at the innermost sanctum, resting on a high podium and reached by challengingly steep stairs reminiscent of those in Mayan temples. An elaborately layered, unmortared stone tower crowns the center, rising to a height of 213 feet, with similar but slightly lower towers in each corner. Their sovereign profile is memorable."

"Angkor Wat was a religious compound and sepulchre for the god-king of a scope never seen before or after. Of unknown architect, this high point of Khmer culture was abandoned in 1431, when the area fell to the Thais."

— from G.E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. p50.


The complex measures 4,250 by 5,000 feet.

The central tower is 215' tall.

Sources on Angkor Wat

In the Shadow of Angkor Wat. 1997. VHS-NTSC format video tape. ISBN 0780020197. — Video - Available at

Eleanor Mannikka. Angkor Wat : Time, Space, and Kingship. University of Hawaii Press, October 1996. ISBN 0824817206. — The definitive complete reference on Angkor Wat. Available at

John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. photo, axonometric drawing, p29. — An inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at

G. E. Kidder Smith. Looking at Architecture. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Publishers, 1990. ISBN 0-8109-3556-2. LC 90-30728. NA200.S57 1990. context photo, p50. discussion, p50. — Available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Angkor Wat


Web Resources
Links on Angkor Wat

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