Angkor is the heart and soul of Cambodia. Today, 1200 years after the first constructions began, this is still a place of pilgrimage and an object of pride for all Khmers. Here, kings successively built temples to honour the gods and to leave their trace in history.
Angkor Wat – considered the largest religious building in the world – replicates the spatial universe, with its central tower representing Mt Meru, the Olympus of Hindu gods, and the outer courtyards symbolizing the oceans, origin of life.
At its heights during the 12th century, the Angkor complex was inhabited by more than 700,000 people. With great architectural knowledge including sophisticated systems of canalization, the Khmer Empire had nothing to envy the Romans.
Since 1992, Angkor is listed as World Heritage Site and attracts 2 million visitors per year. Over the centuries, the temples have proven they can survive the jungle’s invasion and the harsh climate as well as political turmoils. But in less than 20 years, degradation due to the crowd (footsteps, hands touching, etc.) is the greatest threat to the heart and soul of these sacred sites.