1992 – Angkor Wat
Angkor is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. Stretching over some 400 km2, including forested area, Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations. UNESCO has set up a wide-ranging programme to safeguard this symbolic site and its surroundings.
2003 – The Royal Ballet of Cambodia, or “Apsara Dance” (Intangible Cultural Heritage)
Inscribed in 2008 (3.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (originally proclaimed in 2003) Renowned for its graceful hand gestures and stunning costumes, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, also known as Khmer Classical Dance, has been closely associated with the Khmer court for over one thousand years. Performances would traditionally accompany royal ceremonies and observances such as coronations, marriages, funerals or Khmer holidays. This art form, which narrowly escaped annihilation in the 1970s, is cherished by many Cambodians.
2005 – Sbèk Thom, Khmer Shadow Theater (Intangible Cultural Heritage)
Sbek Thom, was proclaimed as a UNESCO Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on 25 November 2005, and featured on the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity as of 2009. Sbek Thom should receive special technical and financial measures from international institutions through UNESCO in order to allow the Kingdom of Cambodia to safeguard and revitalise this Sbek Thom puppet shadow theatre.
2008 – Temple of Preah Vihear
Situated on the edge of a plateau that dominates the plain of Cambodia, the Temple of Preah Vihear 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.
2015 – Tug-of-War (Intangible Cultural Heritage)
Tug-of-war is the 5th Cambodian heritage being registered by UNESCO. The Historic Site of Angkor was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992, Preah Reach Troap Dance (Royal Ballet) and Lakhon Sbek Thom (big shadow puppet) were proclaimed masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity respectively in 2003 and 2005, while Preah Vihear Temple was named a World Heritage Site in 2008.
2017 – Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura
The archaeological site of Sambor Prei Kuk, “the temple in the richness of the forest” in the Khmer language, has been identified as Ishanapura, the capital of the Chenla Empire that flourished in the late 6th and early 7th centuries AD. The vestiges of the city cover an area of 25 sq km and include a walled city centre as well as numerous temples, ten of which are octagonal, unique specimens of their genre in South-East Asia. Decorated sandstone elements in the site are characteristic of the pre-Angkor decorative idiom, known as the Sambor Prei Kuk Style. Some of these elements, including lintels, pediments and colonnades, are true masterpieces. The art and architecture developed here became models for other parts of the region and lay the ground for the unique Khmer style of the Angkor period.