Angkor Wat ប្រាសាសាទអង្គរវត្គរវត្ត ("Prasat Angkor Wat") is the largest of the temples of the Angkor monumental complex in Cambodia. It was built by Suryavarman II at the beginning of the 12th century as a "state temple" and capital. The best preserved temple of Angkor, one of the largest medieval cities in the world, it is the only one that has remained an important religious centre since its foundation, initially Hindu and dedicated to Vishnu, then Buddhist.
The temple is the archetype of the classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become the symbol of Cambodia and appears on its national flag. It is the country's main tourist attraction.
Angkor Wat combines two bases of Khmer architecture for temples: the temple-mountain side and the temple-gallery side. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, the house of the gods in Hindu mythology.
Inside a moat and a 3.6 km long outer wall are three rectangular galleries, each built inside the other. In the centre of the temple are staggered towers. Unlike most Angkor temples, Angkor Wat faces west, probably because it faces Vishnu.
The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of its architecture and the many bas-reliefs that adorn its walls. Its beauty and size are such that many consider it to be the eighth wonder of the world. It also gives clues about Angkor's important hydraulic system. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.