Located in northern Cambodia, Angkor Wat is a large Buddhist temple complex that was first built in the early 12th century by Emperor Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple. This complex is spread across more than 400 acres. It is said to be the world’s largest religious monument. As a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, it was the political center for the empire. By the end of the 12th century, Angkor Wat became a Buddhist temple. Even though it is no longer an active temple, Angkor Wat is a very important tourist attraction. The structure has sustained damage from regional conflicts, forest overgrowth and earthquakes through the years but has remained an architectural marvel. The temple’s design is supposed to represent the home of the gods, Mount Meru. The 5 towers are intended to recreate the 5 peaks of Mount Meru. The walls and moat honor the surrounding mountain ranges and sea. The tallest tower reaches nearly 70 feet. The outer walls and temple of Angkor Wat are constructed with blocks of sandstone while the rest of the structures are made from wood and less durable materials. The walls of the temple are covered with carved representations of important Hindu and Buddhist deities and figures. There are also important events in narrative tradition on the walls. In the early 1900s, the French who ruled at the time established a commission to restore Angkor Wat for tourism purposes. Some restoration work was accomplished but major efforts took place in the 1960s. After the civil war in the 1970s, Angkor Wat sustained minimal damage. Since then, the Cambodian government with the assistance from representatives from Germany, India and France, among others, have contributed to ongoing restoration efforts. In 1992, Angkor Wat was designated an UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Limoges Cambodia Postcard Box is a special item to remember your visit to this sacred place. The front is painted with a detailed depiction of the Angkor Wat that will complement your historical collection!