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An experience we will never forget
March 24, 2012


The Baphuon is an impressive temple situated northwest of the Bayon in Angkor Thom. It was built in mid 11 century as state temple of Udayadityavarman II and dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.

This imposing temple is considered the archetype of the Baphuon style. The temple adjoins the southern enclosure of the royal palace and measures 120 metres east-west by 100 metres north-south at its base and stands 34 meters tall without its tower. In the late 15th century, the Baphuon was converted to a Buddhist temple. A nine meter tall by 70 meter long statue of a reclining Buddha was built on second level of the west side.


By the 20th century, much of the temple had largely collapsed, and restoration efforts have since proven problematic: a first effort begun in 1960 was interrupted by the coming to power of the Khmer Rouge, and records of the positions of the stones were lost. A second attempt started in 1995 by a team of French-led archeologists as of 2005 was still ongoing, restricting visitor access. As of November 2010, partial visitor access was once again allowed, though not to the central structure.

In April 2011, after 51 years, the archaeologists finished the restoration of the temple. King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia and Prime Minister Francois Fillon of France were among those who first toured the renovated temple during the inauguration ceremony on July 3, 2011.


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