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- "The temple is like no other building in the world. It has towers and decoration and all the refinements which the human genius can conceive of."
- –Antonio da Magdalena
Angkor Wat isn't a terribly exciting Wonder, but if you have nothing better to build, go ahead and do it. The main bonus will considerably speed up natural territorial expansion in all cities, which is always good but not so game-changing. The Great Engineer point added is maybe even more useful than the main bonus.
Angkor Wat is a temple in Angkor, Cambodia. Angkor Wat was constructed in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II to serve as the royal palace and state temple, Hinduism being the state religion. Two or three centuries later Angkor Wat was converted to Buddhist use. Angkor Wat is a complex of buildings surrounded by a wall and then moat. The enclosed area measures 910 meters by 790 meters (3000 feet by 2600 feet). Angkor Wat is constructed primarily of sandstone blocks. The complex is laid out in a rectangular pattern somewhat resembling that of an ancient fortress; the inner buildings are separated from the outer walls by a courtyard similar to a bailey one might find in a castle.
At one time the courtyard was filled with wooden buildings, but these have all since perished. The surviving stone inner structure is split into three galleries built on raised platforms. The outer galleys once contained libraries, while the inner was a shrine to Vishnu (and has since been converted to a shrine to Buddha). The galleries are topped with towers that resemble stylized beehives, the tallest reaching about 43 m (140 feet) in height. The buildings' walls are covered with ornate and beautiful bas relief sculptures depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
Though largely neglected in the latter half of the 20th century, serious efforts are now being made to preserve and restore this wonderful and unique place of worship, and pilgrims and tourists are visiting it in ever-greater numbers each year.