Prasat Sour Prat is located at the
beginning of the road leading to the Gate of Victory of Angkor Thom ; 1,200
meters (3,937 feet) in front of Phimeanakas. A enter and leave the towers from
the road at the east.
It was built in the end of the 12th century by the King Jayavarman VII, replica
to Bayon style of art.
The purpose of these towers is a source of some controversy. According to a
Cambodian legend, the towers swerved as anchoring places for ropes which
stretched from one to another for acrobats performing at festivals, festivals,
while the king observed the performances from one of the terraces. This activity
is reflected in the name of the towers. Zhou Daguan wrote about an entirely
different purpose of the towers in describing a method of settling disputes
between men. Twelve little stone towers stand in front of the royal palace. Each
of the contestants is forced to de seated in one of the towers, with his
relatives standing guard over him. They remain imprisoned two, three, or four
days. When allowed to emerge, one of them will be found to be suffering saome
illness- ulcers, of catarrh, or malignant fever. The other man will be in
perfect health. Thus is right or wrong determined by what is called 'celestial
judgment' Henri Mouhot wrote that the towers were 'said to have been the royal
treasure.. It served, they, as a depository for the crewels. Another theory is
that they may have served as an altar for each province on the occasion of the
taking of the oath of loyalty to the king
Prasat Suor Prat is a row of 12 square laterite and sandstone towers, six on
either side of the road leading to Angkor Thom, parallel to the front of the
terraces. The two towers closest to the road are back slightly from the others.
The towers are connected by galleries and are of similar style and construction.
The towers have an unusual feature of windows with balusters on three sides.
Entrance porches open toward the square and the road to the Gate of Victory of
the city of Angkor Thom. These features support the theory that these towers
were used as some sort of viewing area, reserved for princes or dignitaries, on
to the large square of the Royal Palace, The interior of each tower has two
levels and two levels and on the upper one there is a cylindrical vault with two
pediments. The frames, bays and lintels were made of sandstone. See map page 80.
Source: Ministry of
Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia