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International > The picture of the week > World heritage in Cambodia

Picture of the week (No.5): world heritage in Cambodia (hereunder, the Banteay Srei temple).       Share

Each week, Willgoto selects a nice picture and shows it here. The temple of Banteay Srei, better known under its current name of 'Citadel of the women', in Cambodia is the topic of the fifth picture in this series. This temple, a jewel of Khmer art, is part of the world heritage of UNESCO, just like the temples of Angkor. It is quite rightly also called 'Citadel of beauty'.

World heritage site in Cambodia
The Banteay Srei temple, also called 'Citadel of the women", is a world heritage site in Cambodia. The entrance to the site.

The country: Cambodia is a country situated in Southeast Asia. Its neighbors are Vietnam to the East, Laos to the North and Thailand to the West. Deeply bruised during the second half of the 20th century by civil wars and the terrible regime of the Maoist-inspired Khmer Rouge, Cambodia has recovered some peace and has experienced a strong economic growth for more than a decade. Agriculture (particularly rice production), textile industry, and tourism are key sectors of Cambodia's economic activity.

The country offers indeed important attractions for tourists: Angkor (probably the largest archaeological site in the world), Tonle Sap (the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia), Phnom Penh (the capital and the economic center of the country with several attractions such as the Royal Palace), spices such as the excellent Kampot pepper, the beautiful beaches and islands of the Gulf of Thailand that attract crowds when Western countries are faced with cold winters, quality handicrafts, and a welcoming population.

The picture: Cambodia's heritage dates back mostly to the period from the 9th to the 13th century when the Khmer had developed a prosperous and powerful empire in Southeast Asia, well beyond the borders of the today Cambodia. The successive capitals of the Khmer empire have kept the remnants of their numerous temples and palaces as well as of the baray, reservoirs that the Khmer had built to maintain the water supply.

UNESCO has recognized the importance of this heritage by adding Angkor and the Preah Vihear temple to the World Heritage list. The site of Angkor includes Angkor itself  (a territory of 31,000 ha that contains notably the temples of Angkor Wat, Bayon, Preah Khan, Ta Prohm, and many more), and the Roluos temple (3,000 ha to the east of Angkor) and the Citadel of the women (2,000 ha northeast of Angkor).

The temple Banteay Srei (the "Citadel of women") is located 30 km north of Siem Reap, the Cambodian town tourists use as base to visit Angkor. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It predates the constructions of Angkor. The site of Banteay Srei, built mainly of red sandstone, has been restored by the French and more recently by the Swiss. The work was well done. The beauty of the buildings and their decorations make rightly Banteay Srei a popular tourist destination in Cambodia. A small well documented museum and a restaurant built in cooperation with the Swiss make the visit more informative and enjoyable.

You may want also to see pictures from other places of interest in Cambodia:

Angkor Wat

Siem Reap

Phnom Penh


The author of the picture: the photos above belong to Willgoto. You find here all our pictures from Cambodia.

See also:
Picture of the week 1: Bee hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world. It is endemic to Cuba.
Picture of the week 2: Pagoda of the Golden Rock in Myanmar. It is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the world.
Picture of the week 3: Seychelles beach. Seychelles is a perfect destination for a dream holiday.
Picture of the week 4: Lemur of Madagascar (Coquerel's sifaka), an endangered species of primates, which, like all other species of lemurs, is endemic to Madagascar.
Picture of the week 6: The bull shark and the tiger shark. Both sharks are unfortunately known for fatal attacks on humans.

See  all our "Pictures of the week".



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Each week, Willgoto selects a nice picture. The temple of Banteay Srei, better known as 'Citadel of the women', in Cambodia is a jewel of Khmer art. It is part of the world heritage of UNESCO, just like the temples of Angkor.