THE KHMERS

 Deep in the jungle of nowadays Cambodia one can see the remains of beautiful and massive temples.

They were built by the Khmers between the 9th and 15th centuries AD.

The construction of these magnificent edifices leaves us breathless even today.

The people who raised them from the ground, the Khmers, had very difficult lives.

They had to clean the thick forest and work the often flooded plains in order to produce rice and survive in those incredibly harsh conditions.

The great Mekong River was impossible to control. The Khmers dug many canals and kept the flood water away from their villages and crop.

Apart from their achievements in keeping the mighty river away from their paddy fields, the Khmers, were also very well-known for their powerful and capable kings who were worshiped as gods.

These kings saw a trading opportunity with India and Siam (today’s Thailand).

The frequent contacts with other cultures brought prosperity. Thousands of Khmer workers were engaged in constructing roads, temples, hospitals and reservoirs.

The Khmer Empire lasted until the 15th century when it was often attacked by neighbours.

One of the most astonishing temples left by the Khmers is called Angkor Wat. It has a gigantic gateway that leads inside to a great number of courtyards and shrines. The name of the temple means “Temple City” and is beautifully decorated with more than 1796 depictions on its walls and pillars.

For the completion of the Angkor Wat construction were needed about 10 million sandstone blocks!

 

edifices – buildings, constructions

paddy field – a field where people grow rice

shrine – a place that is considered holy 

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