Central gallery of the cruciform cloister
The image shows part of the central gallery of the cruciform cloister structure that connects the main entrance of the Angkor Wat Temple to its middle terrace. It is on the east-west axis that divides the temple into symmetrical north and south parts.
The term cruciform cloister is used in architecture to describe a cross-like covered structure. The underlying design-principle was used in Angkor Wat to build two structures, one on the lower level and another on the uppermost terrace (also known as Bakan). The cruciform cloister on the lower level is situated near the west-side entrance of the temple and connects the outer-enclosure to the middle-enclosure.
The cruciform cloister structure has two perpendicular axial galleries that intersect in the middle to form a cross and four boundary galleries that surround the cross to form a square. The shape of the structure thus looks like a cross surrounded by a square.
The image shows the central axial gallery along the east-west axis. As you can see, it has steps at the end leading to the middle terrace.
– A cruciform cloister basin on the lower level
– Center point of the lower level cruciform cloister
– A cruciform cloister basin on the uppermost terrace
– Plaque describing Preah Poan – A cruciform gallery with a thousand Buddha statues
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