Department of Railways,
Text on page 218
218 Route 20. ANGKOR-THOM General Description.
and 150 metres wide, and around this court are the temples of Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Terrasse d'Honneur, Terrasse dite du Roi LA(c)preux (Terrace called the leper king's), and Prah-Pithu. These monumental buildings are unquestionably Brahmanic structures, but now so dilapidated that one can hardly distinguish their characteristics.
The Moat and lA s Cross Ways. The total length of the castle moat is 13 km. Its banks are built of enormous blocks cf stone, which are, however, mostly overgrown with bushes and hidden from view. Its depth once measured as much as five or six metres; but, as it has heen neglected for many centuries, with lapse of time and the action of the elements it has gradually been getting filled in, and now in its deepest spot it hardly measures three metres.
The greater portion of the moat has been converted into rice-fields and cultivated by the natives, and the rest is overgrown with tall, impenetrable weeds. Along the inner bank of the moat runs an elevated-road (berm) several metres wide. Of the five highways that cross the moat and lead into the interior of the enclosure, four, entering one through the middle of each side, converge near the temple of Bayon. The fifth one, on the E. side, reaches to the front of the great stairway of the temple of Phimeanakas. They are of the same construction and each has a width of 15 metres.
The Gates and the Outer Wall. Nothing could be more elegant nor more majestic than the monumental gates of the outer wall of Angkor-Thom. Their artistic beauty reminds one of the beautiful Greek structures of Thebes and Memphis. But their very beauty was also the cause of their frailty. Their walls are now mere heaps of stones and crumbled dirt, overgrown by creeping vines and other weeds. The five gates are all identical in structure. They stand twenty metres high from the ground, and their height from the foundation to the lintels is not less than seven metres. O 1 both sides of the wall project buttresses, supporting triangular roofs, the pediments of which are decorated with carvings of sacred serpents (NA ga). At both sides of the entrance are narrow stairways, which lead to the chambers of the gate, which no doubt were once the quarters of vigilant guards. In the angles of the buttresses and in the side walls of the chambers one notices traces of vigorous decoration. This is best preserved in the N. gate and consists of
Towers with Four Faces, Bayon.