Characteristic of the Khmer building style is the prasat, a tower built
of bricks, sandstone or laterite as the center of a complex of temples arranged in one of two forms: in a straight line from East to West
or in a square of galeries with large towers at the corners and smaller
These towers are richly decorated with scenes derived
from Brahman myths, displayed in shallow niches.
Apsaras, heavenly dancers
After the import
of the Hinayana or "small vehicle" version of Buddhism, Buddha
images were exclusively used, while the "large vehicle" or Mahayana combines the Buddha images with the numerous deities of Brahmanism.
Even though the Khmer bricks were of excellent quality and cemented together by some vegetable binder requiring minimum space between courses, the larger projects are almost completely carried out in sandstone which is easy to work. That made it possible to build such risky constructions as the Bayon, the towers of which consist of four faces looking to each major compass quarter.