© 2012 Julie Gilchrist. All rights reserved.
One of the last temples I visited, and one of the most admired by Angkor historians, is Banteay Srei. As of April 22, 2012, this site is 1,045 years old. It is small compared to other temples, but almost every surface is adorned, making it unique. It’s first restoration took place in the 1930s by the French. More recently, the Swiss have been involved in restoring it. Around Angkor you also see lots of involvement by Japan to restore and maintain the temples.
Banteay Srei is one of the few temples still surrounded by a moat, filled with pink lotus flowers.
Most temples are surrounded by a wall.
The temples of Angkor are organized a little bit like a national park in the U.S. Some have informational signs like this one, many trees have small signs with their botanical identification, there are uniformed “rangers” that check tickets, etc. The APSARA web site
has good, concise histories of the temples if you want to learn more.
A restoration work area.
Lots of stones that are laid off to the side are encoded with their position.
One of the kneeling guardians in front of the central sanctuary. All of these are duplicates, replacing originals that were looted long ago. Many of the figures you see around Angkor are replacements for this reason.
These two displays at the welcome center explain more about this temple if you’re curious. Just click on the photos to see them full size.