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About Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear is an ancient Khmer temple that straddles a large cliff along the present day border between Thailand and Cambodia. Sovereignty over the temple had been disputed for many years until 1962, when the International Court of Justice ruled that it belonged to Cambodia. However, due to civil war that engulfed Cambodia in the following year, the temple was not open to visitors until 1992, and only briefly. In 1998, the temple was open from the Thai side of the border, and presently it is possible to approach from both Cambodia and Thailand.

The political situation of the temple area has made scholarship difficult until recently. It is known that the temple is dedicated to the god Shiva and was built during the reign of Suryavarman I (1002-50) with continued construction during the reign of his successor, Suryavarman II (1113-50).

In Thailand, the temple is known as Prasat Khao Phra Wiharn.


The approximate location of Preah Vihear is 14.391950' N, 104.680048' E (WGS 84 map datum).


All images copyright 2004 Patrick Ziltener, sociologist, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies, Colgne/Germany, and University of Zurich, Switzerland;

Specific image locations noted with reference to online article at:

Aasen, Clarence. Architecture of Siam: A Cultural History and Interpretation
  Oxford University Press., 1998. Oxford

Cummings, Joe. Thailand
  Lonely Planet Publications., 1990. Singapore

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