Department of Railways,
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206 Route 20. ANGKOR-VAT General
that they were diligently engaged in the work of renovation is shown by the memorandum of a Chinese minister, who visited this place in 1283 and was pleasantly impressed by the clean and systematic upkeep of all these
With the closing of the age of the architectural glory of the Khmer Dynasty came also the beginning of the decline of its political power. The army of its western neighbour, Siam, was already pressing near the walls of Angkor. At last the Siamese succeeded in driving out its inhabitants and occupied the city, installing a king of their own race, and renaming it Nokor l.uong. Later it was once more restored to the Khmers, only to be wrested from them permanently from the end of the 14th century. Since then all these magnificent monuments have been left to the mercy of the elements and trodden under the feet of wild beasts.
General Description. The monument of Angkor-Vat is the most typical one of the architecture of ancient Cambodia and is comparatively well preserved. For these two reasons, and also for the reason of its accessibility, it draws yearly the largest number of visitors. As has already been said, all the monuments of Angkor, left uncared for since the 14th century, have suffered the devastating effect of time, and, hidden among forests, were almost unknown to the world, until 1910, when, by the Franco-Siamese treaty of 1907, they were again restored to Cambodia and means of communication were once more opened up.
In order to grasp the structural principles of the Khmer architecture, visitors should first see Angkor-Vat, in which these principles are best preserved and shown most clearly. The idea of the plan and the details of structure they get from this monument will guide them in estimating and appreciating the ancient grandeur of other monuments, now in a sad state of decay. Moreover, as this monument stands in front of the bungalow hotel, each visitor can examine it separately at leisure.
Terrace before the Entrance to Angkor-Vat.