Angkor was the capital of the Khmer empire between around 800 and 1200 AD, and the remains seen today are relics of this great civilisation. The majority of these stunning buildings are religious in nature, echoing the Khmer rulers' desires to create monuments to their gods. These are the only buildings still standing as all others from that era, such as administrative centres, palaces and houses were built out of wood and have not survived.
Historians have advanced two theories to explain the Khmer rulers' decision to settle in the Angkor region (Angkor translates as "capital city"). The more prosaic stresses its strategic location and the more esoteric suggests that it was based on astronomical calculations.
The region of Angkor is home to a complex of over one hundred stone temples, along with shrines, pagodas and other sacred places.