Built by the Khmer Empire between 802 and 1220 AD, the temples at Angkor Wat, Cambodia — and the great city surrounding them — represent one of humanity's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. Today's structures are the surviving remains of a grand religious, social, and administrative metropolis. Satellite photographs show Angkor Wat as the largest preindustrial city globally, with an urban sprawl of 3,000 square kilometers that supported one million people. Mysteriously abandoned in the 15th century, the site remained cloaked by jungle growth until the end of the 19th century, when archaeologists embarked on a lengthy restoration process.
One of Angkor Wat’s most famous temples is Ta Prohmthe temples at Angkor Wat, Cambodia — and the great city surrounding them — represent one of humanity's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. . As a monument to the kingdom of the trees, Ta Prohm is well known for showing up in movies, like Tomb Raider. Ta Prohm was intentionally not fully restored to demonstrate how the ruins of Angkor Wat were initially found. It was felt that the trees growing through the building were beautiful and ethereal and should be preserved. The trees growing through the temple are either a banyan or kapok (also called silk cotton tree) variety, with a parasitic tree growing on other trees called the strangler fig; its growth depends on the death of other trees. The Angkor Wat complex is built with porous sandstone and allows the trees to extract water from the stones. Ta Prohm is the site of the jungle's battle for control of these buildings.
Angkor Wat is a site for other conflicts as well. In the 1970s, it was a site of fighting with the Khmer Rouge. You can see bullet holes and signs to keep you on the indicated path due to landmines placed around the temples. Recent reports have stated that Angkor Wat was abandoned due to massive flooding and a severe drought.