From the breath-taking size of Angkor Vat to the intricate
carvings of petite Banteay Srei, the temples of Angkor display
a coherent set of architectural and decorative elements.
Most of the temples are based on the concept of the "temple
mountain", i.e. the architectural representation of
the mythical Mount Meru,
center of the world and home of the gods. In some cases,
the main temple building is shaped as a pyramid, in other
cases the roofs of the temple sanctuaries are designed as
multi-leveled, stylized mountains. Many are surrounded by
a moat, representing the ocean around Mount
Mythical figures such as Naga,
the serpent king, and apsara,
celestial dancers, adorn most of the temples, whether dedicated
to a Hindu god or Buddhist practice.
An overview of the evolution of the Angkorian
style is listed under Art.