Angkor Wat and Geometric Art

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Angkor Wat is a Hindu temple at Angkor, Cambodia, dedicated to the god Vishnu, constructed during the rule of King Suryavarman II (1113–1150). The temple’s vast rectangular plan measures about 850 by 1000 m (about 2800 by 3300 ft). The central tower of the complex rises 61 m (200 ft). Built entirely of stone, the temple has corbeled roofs and relief friezes depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.

Corbel: A bracket of stone, wood, brick, or other building material, projecting from the face of a wall and generally used to support a cornice or arch.

The temples of Angkor represent one of humankind's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. From Angkor the Khmer kings ruled over a vast domain that reached from Vietnam to China to the Bay of Bengal. The structures one sees at Angkor today, more than 100 stone temples in all, are the surviving remains of a grand religious, social and administrative metropolis whose other buildings - palaces, public buildings, and houses - were built of wood and are long since decayed and gone.

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Last updated: February 14, 2007