Angkor Wat

temple complex in Cambodia

One of the 21 Finalists

Angkor Wat

Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត or “Capital Temple”) is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, with the site measuring 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 m2; 402 acres). It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple of god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.

Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls.

The modern name, Angkor Wat, means “Temple City” or “City of Temples” in Khmer; Angkor, meaning “city” or “capital city”, is a vernacular form of the word nokor (នគរ), which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara (Devanāgarī: नगर). Wat is the Khmer word for “temple grounds”, also derived from Sanskrit vāṭa (Devanāgarī: वाट), meaning “enclosure”.

Cambodia

Interesting Facts

Angkor Wat


Location

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Creator

Suryavarman II

Area

over 200 km²

Architectural style

Khmer architecture

Instance of

Buddhist temple & archaeological site

The Official

New 7 Wonders of the World

Taj Mahal

A white marble mausoleum in Agra, India

Chichén Itzá

Pyramid at Chichén Itzá, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Machu Picchu

15th-century Inca site in Peru

Christ the Redeemer

statue of Jesus in Río de Janeiro, Brazil

Colosseum

elliptical amphitheatre in Rome

Petra

Arabian historical and archaeological city, Jordan

Great Wall of China

series of fortifications built along the historical border of China

Worldmap

The 21 Finalists

Latest News

New7Wonders continues, find out how in our News Room

Bernard Weber: "Have a Wonderful New Year!"

ZURICH, SwitzerlandDear Wonderful FriendsPlease accept my warmest wishes at the start of the New Year. In 2017, let us all adopt the New7Wonders positive vision of life, and inspired by this, we can work together to build a more harmonious and just world.Undoubtedly, the highlight of our past 12…

New7Wonders preliminary report on Chichén Itzá

ZURICH: New7Wonders has completed the first part of the Official New7Wonders VII process for Chichén Itzá, one of the New7Wonders of the World. A preliminary report has been sent to the relevant authorities and civil organisations, for them to consider and respond to.The New7Wonders VII is the ongoing audit…

Recreating the New7Wonders of the World in Bangalore

The New7Wonders of the World have been given a unique interpretation by students of the National Hill View Public School in Banashankari, a suburb of Bangalore in India. Imaginative models of Christ the Redeemer, the Colosseum, Chichen Itza, the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu, Petra and India's very own…

New7Wonders visit to Chichén Itzá for Verification

ZURICH: New7Wonders has completed its visit to Chichén Itzá, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, as part of the Official New7Wonders VII process.The N7W VII is the ongoing audit programme conducted by New7Wonders as the world authority for the voted Wonders, to ensure they are able…

Zaha Hadid: A tribute

ZURICH: The Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, who died yesterday in Miami aged 65, was a distinguished member of the New7Wonders Panel of Experts on two occasions: The New7Wonders of the World and the New7Wonders Cities campaigns. Bernard Weber, the Founder of New7Wonders, remembers a remarkable woman, an inspirational designer…

Wonderful Content loading...

Hello! Contact New 7 Wonders Close

Do you have any questions about the New7Wonders campaigns?
Are you writing an article, do you have a project in mind?
Maybe you have an idea using the New7Wonders concept?
Whatever it is, just say "Hello!" to us, and we will reply as soon as we can.

If you are from the press or a media organisation, or a social media reporter, please use this form to contact Eamonn Fitzgerald, New7Wonders Head of Communications.

If you have an idea involving the New7Wonders concept, or maybe you want to associate New7Wonders with your product or brand, or any other commercial or business or new creative idea, please use this form to contact Jean-Paul de la Fuente, New7Wonders Head of Value Development.>