Angkor Ta Prohm
Like the other Khmer temples, it is included in a large enclosure (1 km by 700 m) whose gates (one at each cardinal point) are decorated with a tower with four faces in a style similar to that of Angkor Thom. A fifth, more discreet door is on the north wall - perhaps it served as a "service door".
Inside this enclosure were to be found many monastic buildings, only one of which remains today a stopover gîte near the eastern entrance to the second enclosure. This one, surrounded by a moat about 25 m wide, delimits the square space of about 250 m on the side of the temple itself.
Unlike most other Angkor monuments, Ta Prohm was left in a state close to its rediscovery at the beginning of the 20th century.
To this end, it was chosen by the École française d'Extrême-Orient as a "concession to the general taste for the picturesque" (Glaize). Nevertheless, a lot of work was needed to stabilize the ruins and allow access, in order to maintain "this state of apparent neglect" (Freeman and Jacques).
An inscription on the Ta Prohm indicates that 12,640 people served in this temple alone. She also reports that more than 66,000 farmers produced more than 2,500 tons of rice per year to feed the multitude of priests, dancers and temple workers. If we add three large temples (Preah Khan and the two even larger ensembles of Angkor Wat and Bayon), we quickly reach 300,000 farmers, about half the estimated population of the Greater Angkor.
In the main alley leading to the Ta Prohm, a group of musicians...
mostly mutilated by war or by anti-personnel mines
Major restoration work is underway...
for many years to come....
A Khmer kid watching his father work...
Impressive roots, which completely envelop the ruins of Ta Prohm...
Ta Prohm, has a series of concentric galleries with corner towers and gopuras (entrance pavilion), but with many other buildings and enclosures.
Trees are born and cling to a crack somewhere on the superstructure of buildings, where usually a bird has deposited the seed, and then they stretch their roots to the ground.
To do this, the roots make their way between the stones, so that when they thicken they gradually spread the blocks of stone apart. Ultimately, the tree becomes the support of the monument, but when it dies or is knocked down by a hurricane, the liberated blocks collapse.
This is how trees are ultimately destructive factors.