The age of Angkor has always been seen as the embodiment of Khmer civilization, and it started in 802, with the consecration of Jayavarman II as universal monarch.
Angkor Wat was built at the height of the empire by Suryavarman II, considered as one of the most extensive religious architectural complex in the world, occupying 200 hectares.
During the reign of Jayavarman VII the Khmer Empire was a prosperous trading empire, with extensive trade networks throughout Southeast Asia and beyond. He also established the first healthcare infrastructure with a network of rest houses and hospitals.
In addition to his temple-building (Bayon and Ta Prohm) and social and religious reforms, Jayavarman VII also led successful campaigns against neighboring kingdoms and expanded the Khmer Empire to its greatest extent.
One of the most remarkable achievements of Khmer art was the development of portraiture towards the end of the 12th century. The depiction of a real royal individual in the form of a Buddhist deity was common, the bodhisattva figure became the godly model used by Jahavarman VII to claim the divine right to rule.
Today, the legacy of the Khmer Empire can be seen in the rich cultural traditions of Cambodia and the many magnificent temples and monuments that remain as a testament to its cultural and architectural achievements.