Phnom Penh (FN), July 10 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen decided to determine 10 July as an anniversary of inscriptions of Preah Vihear Temple and of Sambor Prei Kuk Temple as World Heritage Sites.

The anniversary aims to pay gratitude to the Cambodian ancestors’ achievements for building the two temples, and reminds the Cambodian descendants to love and appreciate these invaluable Khmer tangible heritages.

Temple of Preah Vihear situates on the edge of a plateau that dominates the plain of Cambodia; the Temple is dedicated to Shiva. The Temple is composed of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases over an 800 metre long axis and dates back to the first half of the 11th century AD. Nevertheless, its complex history can be traced to the 9th century, when the hermitage was founded. This site is particularly well preserved, mainly due to its remote location. The site is exceptional for the quality of its architecture, which is adapted to the natural environment and the religious function of the temple, as well as for the exceptional quality of its carved stone ornamentation, UNESCO wrote.

The Temple of Preah Vihear, a unique architectural complex of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases on an 800 metre long axis, is an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture, in terms of plan, decoration and relationship to the spectacular landscape environment. It is very ‘pure’ both in plan and in the detail of its decoration.

Authenticity, in terms of the way the buildings and their materials express well the values of the property, has been established. The attributes of the property comprise the temple complex; the integrity of the property has to a degree been compromised by the absence of part of the promontory from the perimeter of the property. The protective measures for the Temple, in terms of legal protection are adequate; the progress made in defining the parameters of the Management Plan needs to be consolidated into an approved, full Management Plan, UNESCO added.

The Temple of Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 7 July 2008 and Sambo Prei Kuk on 8 July 2017.

Watch a special documentary by Preah Vihear Authority describing the building of Cambodia’s Preah Vihear Temple: