1 year ago

The temples of Angkor. Cambodia

If, as Goethe said, architecture is frozen music, then Angkor Wat must be a celestial symphony. It was described by the first European to see it as a rival to King Solomon’s temple and that it must have been erected by an ancient Michaelangelo. It is simply the most spectacular ancient temple on earth—it’s mystical splendor a reflection of the genius of ancient builders. Angkor Wat has dominated the Cambodian plain for eight centuries. It has survived the passage of time, the double monsoon of the region, drought, and numerous wars. Facing west, unlike the other temples in Angkor, Angkor Wat is highlighted by its own contrasting shadows as it captures the last rays of the afternoon sun, a crown jewel in an unlikely setting. Its bas reliefs will surely continue to tell their stories for millennia to come. If the Angkor Wat is well-preserved, Ta Prohm has been reclaimed by the jungle. Roots ooze through stones, and trees have attached themselves to the crumbling buildings. Its fate has been literally entwined with the jungle. Somerset Maugham summed up Angkor Wat by saying, “I have not seen anything in the world more beautiful than the temples of Angkor.”

Photographs by Steve McCurry

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