Angkor Preah Khan
The Preah Khan :
This "flat" temple, much less impressive than the mountain temples, is surrounded by a first enclosure of about 800 m by 600 m, itself bordered by moats more than 20 m wide. The pavements that cross them are, as in Angkor Thom, adorned with balustrades composed of fabulous giants (deva) holding a nāga. The base of these pavements is carved with bas-reliefs.
This large space was probably once occupied by numerous dwellings mainly made of wood. The only witnesses are a stage lodge on the side of the eastern access road and a basin dug in the northwestern corner.
In the centre is the temple, surrounded by a 210m x 160m enclosure wall with large entrance pavilions at the four cardinal points, the most complex of which is the eastern one, preceded by a large access terrace.
The temple enclosure includes numerous annex buildings, including a "hall of dancers", pools, "libraries", "cloisters" connected by galleries that must be crossed to reach the sanctuary enclosure, itself a dense network of galleries and colonnaded halls surrounding the central sanctuary tower.
The site served as a temporary city during the construction of Ankgor Thom and the monastery was completed after Jayavarman VII moved into his new palace (1190).