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Angkor ancient city in north-western Cambodia. Near the northern bank of the Tonle Sap. His remains were discovered in 1860 by French botanists, they belong to the ancient Khmer empire and are divided into two groups: the “Great Capital” of the century. 9 ° -13 °, and the “Temple”, the sec. 12 ° -13 °. A.-Thom shows the typical layout of a regular Khmer: a square with walls, surrounding moat and turreted gates, divided by four streets at whose intersection is the temple. This has three floors of galleries with towers at the top, in the form of smiling fourfold human mask, jagged profiles, richly decorated with bas-reliefs depicting scenes from the religious myths or Indian poetry.
This architectural tradition is preserved in Angkor. Located 25 km from A. are the ruins of the temple Isvanapura. In sec. 15 ° the Khmer ceased to build and Angkor was abandoned. Angkor is the most important archaeological site in Cambodia and one of the most important in South-East Asia. It occupies part of the vast alluvial plain between the great Tonle Sap Lake and the mountain group of Phnom Kulen. The city of Siem Reap, developed since the twenties parallel with the increased flow of tourists, it is the main access point.
The city of Siem Reap developed since the twenties parallel with the increased flow of tourists, it is the main access point. The majority of the most famous and most visited temples is concentrated in an area of about 15 km to 6.5 km north of Siem Reap, but the total area defined as Angkor is much more extensive. The “Angkor Archaeological Park”, set up by royal decree in 1994, covers 400 square kilometers and includes sites such as Kbal Spean, about 40 km away from the central area.
Recent studies of the “Greater Angkor Project” confirmed the existence of a vast conurbation passed low density, interspersed with rice fields and wide more than 1,000 km², with a population of several hundred thousand inhabitants, in times when the the largest European cities came to a few tens of thousands. According to these estimates it was therefore the largest site inhabited in pre-industrial times.
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