Published on : Monday, July 10, 2017
Sambor Prei Kuk, a famous archeological site and a collection of about 50 pre-Angkorian temples located in Kompong Thom province received the approval on Saturday as Cambodia’s third World Heritage site, ushering growth in conservation and promotion as a lesser known tourist attraction of the country.
These 7th-century temples are dotted across over 2,000 hectares of forest area. They display unique archaeological traits from the short-lived Chenla era. One can also find a walled-in city center. This conjoins Angkor Archaeological Park and the Preah Vihear temple as World Heritage Convention sites.
Phoeung Sakona, Culture Minister said on Sunday, “It is such an honor to Cambodia and to our ancestors.’’ She also said that in addition to its exceptional architecture, the site has maintained longstanding cultural and traditional characteristics as well. This ancient site is located 200 kms north of Phnom Penh and 170 kms southeast of Siem Reap.
As per a recent statement published to the World Heritage Convention website on Saturday, the archaeological site which translates to “the temple in the richness of the forest”—was at one point of time the capital of the Chenla Empire.
To quote the website, “Decorated sandstone elements in the site are characteristic of the pre-Angkor decorative idiom, known as the Sambor Prei Kuk Style. Some of these elements, including lintels, pediments and colonnades, are true masterpieces. The art and architecture developed here became models for other parts of the region and lay the ground for the unique Khmer style of the Angkor period.”