An exquisitely illustrated history and exploration of Angkor, the world’s most astonishing architectural treasure.
Built between the ninth and the thirteenth centuries by a succession of twelve Khmer kings, Angkor spreads over 120 square miles in Southeast Asia and includes scores of major architectural sites. In 802, when construction began on Angkor Wat, with wealth from rice and trade, Jayavarman ll took the throne, initiating an unparalleled period of artistic and architectural achievement, exemplified in the fabled ruins of Angkor, center of the ancient empire. Among the amazing pyramid and mandala shaped shrines preserved in the jungles of Cambodia, is Angkor Wat, the world’s largest temple, an extraordinarily complex structure filled with iconographic detail and religious symbolism. Perhaps because of the decline of agricultural productivity and the expansion of the Thai Empire, Angkor was abandoned in the fifteenth century and left to the ravages of time. Today, many countries continue efforts to conserve and restore the temples, which have been inaccessible until recently. Now that the civil war has ended, Angkor is being reborn and is an increasingly popular tourist destination.
Undaunted by the difficulties of traveling through Cambodia and eastern Thailand, Jon Ortner, accompanied by his wife Martha, has photographed fifty of the most important and unique monuments of the Khmer Empire. His images include spectacular views from the rooftops of its temples, glorious landscapes, and details of inscriptions and art that few have ever seen.
The text by a team of distinguished experts provides historical, architectural, and religious analyses of Angkor and the Khmer civilization. The Appendix offers a glossary, a chronology of construction, and a chart of the kings and their accomplishments. Black-and-white floor plans and historic watercolors complete this breathtaking tribute.
Other details: 240 illustrations, 225 in full color