Date of Construction: Late 12th – Early 13th century C.E.
Religious Affiliation: Buddhist
Patron or King: Jayavarman VII
Artistic/Archeo: Style: Bayon
Location: Angkor Thom
Duration of Visit: See individual temple listings
Position (Center, Bayon): 13d26’28N 103d51’31E
Description: Angkor Thom (Big Angkor) is a 3km2 walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. After Jayavarman VII recaptured the Angkorian capital from the Cham invaders in 1181, he began a massive building campaign across the empire, constructing Angkor Thom as his new capital city. He began with existing structures such as Baphuon and Phimeanakas and built a grand enclosed city around them, adding the outer wall/moat. He then constructed some of Angkor’s greatest temples including his state-temple, Bayon, set at the center of the city. There are five entrances (gates) to the city, one for each cardinal point, and the victory gate leading to the Royal Palace area. Each gate is crowned with 4 giant faces. The South Gate is often the first stop on a tour.