Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text:
the Ta ProhmThe roots of the trees embrace the stone. I love this temple of Angkor, where you can almost take yourself for an explorer, discovering mysterious ruins buried in the jungle...
When the plant marries the mineral
Here, the vegetable marries the mineral. They became completely inseparable.
Over the centuries, the roots of the cheese and fig trees have taken possession of the place, strangling the ruined doors and galleries, insinuating themselves into all the interstices, imitating the forms of the temple. The roots seem to have "sunk" along the stone walls.
The trees have sometimes destroyed, sometimes supported the walls. A slow and spectacular fight between nature and architecture ... The half-collapsed walls and the giant trunks create a unique, magical, a little fantastic atmosphere.
The result is beautiful.
Ta Phrom, among all the temples to visit in Angkor, is in my eyes the most moving, the most aesthetic, the most fascinating.
This is my third visit, several years apart, and each time I get the same thought: this is truly my favorite. I've always loved playing Indiana Jones... 😁
Preserved as is for the "picturesque".
When Ta Prohm was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century, the archaeologists of the École française d'Extrême-Orient who were working on the Angkor site decided to leave this temple as it was, as "concession to the general taste for the picturesque".
Even if the temple has not been restored like most of the other monuments of Angkor, it required some work: the ruins had to be stabilized to make them accessible to visitors, while maintaining this "state of apparent neglect".
A "picturesque" too arranged?
But, but... I confess: I was a little disappointed, compared to the memory I had kept from my previous visits, in 2001 and in 2003. Because you can't just walk around as you want, at Ta Prohm.
Wooden walkways, barriers and security cordons have been placed throughout the site. Many passages are now off limits. There is also a signposted route for the visit, with small signs.
And, how can I put it... It kind of breaks the "explorer" vibe that I loved so much.
The temple remains bewitching all the same, in the early hours of the morning, when the visitors are still rare.
The light and the heat go up little by little ...
The invaders tumble to Ta Prohm
Then, after a first exploration, we want to return to admire the big root of the gallery, the door entwined by the fig tree... and there, it is the drama.
It's time for the invaders! 😱
I should have known that all those nice wooden platforms, which prevent you from tripping on the collapsed stones, had not been installed just for me...