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Angkor Thom

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Angkor Thom
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Angkor Thom M2.png
Map of Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom is located in Cambodia Angkor ThomAngkor Thom
Location in Cambodia
Alternate name Nokor Thom
Location Siem Reap, Cambodia
Region Southeast Asia
Coordinates 13.443302N 103.859682E
Type Archaeological site
Part of Angkor
Length 3 km (1.9 mi)
Width 3 km (1.9 mi)
Area 9 km (3.4mi)
Diameter 3 km (1.9 mi)
Circumference 12 km (7.5 mi)
History
Builder Jayavarman VII
Material sandstone ,laterite
Founded Late 12th century AD (excluding some monuments inside)
Abandoned Perhaps early 17th century AD
Periods Middle ages
Site notes
Condition restored and ruined
Management APSARA Authority
Public access Ticket required for foreigners
Architecture
Architectural styles Bayon (excluding some monuments inside)
Other monuments inside
Baphuon
Bayon
Khleang
Mangalartha
Phimeanakas
Prasat Chrung
Prasat Suor Prat
Preah Palilay
Preah Pithu
Tep Pranam
Terrace of the Elephants
Terrace of the Leper King
The Royal Palace
Angkor Thom (Khmer ???????; literally Great City), located in present-day Cambodia,
was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established
in the late twelfth century by King Jayavarman VII.[1]378382[2]170 It covers an
area of 9 km, within which are located several monuments from earlier eras as well
as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. At the centre of the city is
Jayavarman's state temple, the Bayon, with the other major sites clustered around
the Victory Square immediately to the north.

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Style
3 The site
4 Gallery
5 In popular culture
6 References
7 External links
History[edit]

Bas-relief at Bayon.
Angkor Thom was established as the capital of Jayavarman VII's empire, and was the
centre of his massive building programme. One inscription found in the city refers
to Jayavarman as the groom and the city as his bride.[3]121

Angkor Thom seems not to be the first Khmer capital on the site, however.
Yasodharapura, dating from three centuries earlier, was centred slightly further
northwest, and Angkor Thom overlapped parts of it. The most notable earlier temples
within the city are the former state temple of Baphuon, and Phimeanakas, which was
incorporated into the Royal Palace. The Khmers did not draw any clear distinctions
between Angkor Thom and Yashodharapura even in the fourteenth century an
inscription used the earlier name.[3]138 The name of Angkor Thomgreat citywas in
use from the 16th century.

The last temple known to have been constructed in Angkor Thom was Mangalartha,
which was dedicated in 1295. Thereafter the existing structures continued to be
modified from time to time, but any new creations were in perishable materials and
have not survived.

The Ayutthaya Kingdom, led by King Borommarachathirat II, sacked Angkor Thom,
forcing the Khmers under Ponhea Yat to relocate their capital southeast.[4]29

Angkor Thom was abandoned some time prior to 1609, when an early western visitor
wrote of an uninhabited city, as fantastic as the Atlantis of Plato.[3]140 It is
believed to have sustained a population of 80,000150,000 people.

Style[edit]
Angkor Thom is in the Bayon style. This manifests itself in the large scale of the
construction, in the widespread use of laterite, in the face-towers at each of the
entrances to the city and in the naga-carrying giant figures which accompany each
of the towers.

The site[edit]

South gate of Angkor Thom along with a bridge of statues of gods and demons. Two
rows of figures each carry the body of seven-headed naga.

Faces on Prasat Bayon

Prasat Bayon, the most notable temple at Angkor Thom.


The city lies on the west bank of the Siem Reap River, a tributary of Tonle Sap,
about a quarter of a mile from the river. The south gate of Angkor Thom is 7.2 km
north of Siem Reap, and 1.7 km north of the entrance to Angkor Wat. The walls, 8 m
high and flanked by a moat, are each 3 km long, enclosing an area of 9 km. The
walls are of laterite buttressed by earth, with a parapet on the top. There are
gates at each of the cardinal points, from which roads lead to the Bayon at the
centre of the city. As the Bayon itself has no wall or moat of its own, those of
the city are interpreted by archaeologists as representing the mountains and oceans
surrounding the Bayon's Mount Meru.[5]81 Another gatethe Victory Gateis 500 m
north of the east gate; the Victory Way runs parallel to the east road to the
Victory Square and the Royal Palace north of the Bayon.

The faces on the 23 m towers at the city gates, which are later additions to the
main structure, take after those of the Bayon and pose the same problems of
interpretation. They may represent the king himself, the bodhisattva
Avalokiteshvara, guardians of the empire's cardinal points, or some combination of
these. A causeway spans the moat in front of each tower these have a row of devas
on the left and asuras on the right, each row holding a naga in the attitude of a
tug-of-war. This appears to be a reference to the myth, popular in Angkor, of the
Churning of the Sea of Milk. The temple-mountain of the Bayon, or perhaps the gate
itself,[5]82 would then be the pivot around which the churning takes place. The
nagas may also represent the transition from the world of men to the world of the
gods (the Bayon), or be guardian figures.[6] The gateways themselves are 3.5 by 7
m, and would originally have been closed with wooden doors.[5]82 The south gate is
now by far the most often visited, as it is the main entrance to the city for
tourists. At each corner of the city is a Prasat Chrungcorner shrinebuilt of
sandstone and dedicated to Avalokiteshvara. These are cruciform with a central
tower, and orientated towards the east.

Within the city was a system of canals, through which water flowed from the
northeast to the southwest. The bulk of the land enclosed by the walls would have
been occupied by the secular buildings of the city, of which nothing remains. This
area is now covered by forest.

Most of the great Angkor ruins have vast displays of bas-relief depicting the
various gods, goddesses, and other-worldly beings from the mythological stories and
epic poems of ancient Hinduism (modified by centuries of Buddhism). Mingled with
these images are actual known animals, like elephants, snakes, fish, and monkeys,
in addition to dragon-like creatures that look like the stylized, elongated
serpents (with feet and claws) found in Chinese art.

But among the ruins of Ta Prohm, near a huge stone entrance, one can see that the
roundels on pilasters on the south side of the west entrance are unusual in design.

What one sees are roundels depicting various common animalspigs, monkeys, water
buffaloes, roosters and snakes. There are no mythological figures among the
roundels, so one can reasonably conclude that these figures depict the animals that
were commonly seen by the ancient Khmer people in the twelfth century.[6]

Gallery[edit]

Baphuon

Phimeanakas

Prasat Suor Prat

Khleang

Terrace of the Elephants


In popular culture[edit]
Lara Croft Tomb Raider features several characters visiting Angkor Thom during
their trip to Cambodia to recover the first piece of the Triangle of Light.
In James Rollins' SIGMA Force Book 4 The Judas Strain (2007), the characters'
journey to find a cure for a plague, which requires following in the steps of Marco
Polo, leads them to the Angkor Thom.
In Peter Bourne's novel The Golden Pagans (c.1956), the main characters are sent to
Arabia during the Crusades, captured, and forced into servitude by the Khmers. The
prisoners build a portion of what becomes known as Angkor Thom.
In Patlabor the Movie 2, the opening scene appears to be based on the Angkor Thom,
as said by Hayao Miyazaki in an interview with Animage magazine (October 1993).
[citation needed]
In Civilization IV Beyond the Sword, Angkor Thom is the third city built in the
Khmer Empire, after Yasodharapura and Hariharalaya.
In Eternal Darkness Sanity's Requiem, Angkor Thom is the region where a Cambodian
temple is located, housing the Ancient Mantorok.
References[edit]
Notes

Jump up ^ Higham, C., 2014, Early Mainland Southeast Asia, Bangkok River Books Co.,
Ltd., ISBN 9786167339443
Jump up ^ Coeds, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized States of
Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-
8248-0368-1.
^ Jump up to a b c Higham, Charles. 2001. The Civilization of Angkor. Phoenix. ISBN
1-84212-584-2.
Jump up ^ Chakrabongse, C., 1960, Lords of Life, London Alvin Redman Limited
^ Jump up to a b c Glaize, Maurice. 2003. English translation of the 1993 French
fourth edition. The Monuments of the Angkor Group. Retrieved 14 July 2005.
^ Jump up to a b Freeman, Michael and Jacques, Claude 1997. Angkor Cities and
Temples. Bangkok River Books.
Bibliography

Albanese, Marilia (2006). The Treasures of Angkor (Paperback). Vercelli White Star
Publishers. ISBN 88-544-0117-X.
Freeman, Michael; Jacques, Claude (2003). Ancient Angkor (Paperback). Bangkok River
Books. ISBN 974-8225-27-5.
Jessup, Helen Ibbitson; Brukoff, Barry (2011). Temples of Cambodia - The Heart of
Angkor (Hardback). Bangkok River Books. ISBN 978-616-7339-10-8.
External links[edit]
Geographic data related to Angkor Thom at OpenStreetMap
Media related to Angkor Thom at Wikimedia Commons
Angkor Thom Website (English only)

[hide] v t e
Angkorian sites
[show]
Angkorian sites in Cambodia
[show]
Angkorian sites in Thailand
[show]
Angkorian sites in Laos
[show]
Disputed Angkorian sites
[show] v t e
Siem Reap Province
Categories Angkorian sites in Siem Reap Province12th-century establishments in
AsiaFormer populated places in Cambodia
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This page was last edited on 20 September 2017, at 0607.
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