Angkor Thom (Constructed: Late 12th – Early 13th century, King/Patron: Jayavarman VII, Religion: Buddhism)
Angkor Thom (Big Angkor) is a 3km2 walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. After Jayavarman VII recaptured the Angkorian capital from the Cham invaders in 1,181, he began a massive building campaign across the empire, constructing Angkor Thom as his new capital city. He began with existing structures such as Baphoun and Phimeanakas and built a grand enclosed city around them, adding the outer wall/moat and some of Angkors’s greatest temples including his state-temple, Bayon, set at the center of the city.
There are five entrances (gates) to the city, one for each cardinal point, and the victory gate leading to the Royal Palace area. Each gate is crowned with 4 giant faces. The South Gate is often the first stop on a tour.