Prasat Sour Prat (Angkor Thom)
Posted 22 January 2024

(Photos by: Apsara National Authority)

Prasat Sour Prat: The Enigmatic Towers of Angkor Thom

Prasat Sour Prat, located within the majestic confines of Angkor Thom, is a series of twelve enigmatic towers that continue to captivate historians and visitors alike. These towers, standing in two parallel rows of six, face each other across a north-south avenue leading up to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King.

The purpose of these 12th-century towers, built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, remains a subject of speculation among scholars. Some theories suggest they were used for religious or astronomical purposes, while others propose they served as holding areas for combatants in judicial duels. Despite the mysteries surrounding their function, the architectural elegance and historical significance of Prasat Sour Prat are undeniable.

Each tower is built of laterite and sandstone, featuring a central sanctuary accessed by a front porch with columns. The intricate carvings and bas-reliefs on the towers depict a variety of motifs, including celestial dancers, animals, and floral designs. Although the towers appear similar at first glance, a closer inspection reveals subtle differences in their architectural details, making each one unique.

The name 'Sour Prat' translates to 'The Towers of the Tightrope Walkers,' hinting at a possible use for entertainment or ceremonial purposes. The area around the towers is spacious, allowing visitors to wander and contemplate the purpose of these structures in the grand scheme of Angkor Thom.

Today, Prasat Sour Prat stands as a testament to the architectural innovation and artistic skill of the Khmer Empire. Exploring these towers offers a glimpse into the enigmatic history of Angkor, inviting visitors to ponder the mysteries that still shroud these ancient structures.

Major Sight Spots in Prasat Sour Prat

The Twelve Towers: Each with unique architectural features.

Carvings and Bas-reliefs: Intricate artwork on the towers.

Central Sanctuaries: The heart of each tower.

Surrounding Area: Open space for contemplation and exploration.

Proximity to Other Landmarks: Near the Terraces of the Elephants and the Leper King.


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