The first Western visitors were comparing Angkor Wat to the best
examples of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. A Portuguese monk,
who saw it in 1586, wrote that “its extraordinary construction is not
possible to describe with a pen”.
Angkor Wat is a part of a huge Angkor complex, situated in Siem
Reap province of Cambodia. It was built in the early 12th century by a
Khmer king as his state temple and capital city. Initially a Hindu
site, it was later converted to Buddhist use.
The temple’s design represents Mount Meru – in Hinduism the home of
the gods. The towers symbolize its peak, and the walls and moats – the
ocean and mountains around it. Its galleries and shrines are covered
with the finest bas-reliefs, which became a part of the worldwide fame
of this monument.