Royal Palace of Angkor The Great
The Royal Palace of Angkor Thom located at the north-west of Angkor Thom complex, about 500 meters north of Bayon temple. It was built around the beginning of 10th century and remained function as royal palace until 14th century.
The Royal Palace is surrounded by a laterite wall of 5 m high, 246 m from north to south, and 585 m from east to west. There are five sandstone gopuras giving access to the Royal Palace, two on the north wall, two on the south, and the largest one is on the east which aligned with the Elephant Terrace and the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom.
The Royal Palace was built on the ground about 1.2m higher and the buildings were wooden, that’s why there is no building in the Royal Palace now. The Royal Palace ground is now growing big shadow trees. Some architectures which were parts of the Royal Palace are remaining. Two ancient ponds are ‘Srah Pros’ and ‘Srah Srey’. ‘Srah Srey’ means ‘women’s bath’, is refer to the larger one which have many carvings on the paving. Srah Srey located next to the north wall of the Royal Palace, behind of Srah Pros and north of Phimeanakas. The pond was built by sandstone with 125m long and 45m wide with 13 tiers of steps decend 5,32m to the laterite paving. The walls are carved with 3 parts bas-relief. The lower part are carvings of the marine creatures, the middle part are carvings of the mythical prince and naga princess, the upper part are carvings of the mythical winged figures, male and females guardian.
The east pond or Srah Pros (men’s bath) is also built by sandstone of about 40m long and 20m wide, 4.5m deep. This spot was probably part of the first Royal Palace to be built. To the west of Srah Srey, there is another pond with carvings of procession of people with elephants and horses, the upper part is a frieze of Hamsas.
The researchers has found many parts of the daily used objects by digging the ground. Most objects are identified as items imported from China, which can be proved about the modern living in the Angkor Royal Palace.