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900-year-old bridge restoration starts

Buth Sela / Khmer Times Share:
Experts begin repairs on the 900-year-old Ta Oung Bridge in the Angkor Archeological Park. Apsara Authority

Apsara Authority has started the first phase of a project to repair the 900-year-old Ta Oung Bridge which is facing collapse in the Angkor Archeological Park.

On Wednesday, Apsara Authority said on its Facebook page that the ancient bridge is broken and in disrepair with damage caused by both humans and nature. Many parts of the ancient, stone bridge are broken and collapsed.

Puth Soth, project manager, said they will repair the wall of the bridge on the north side which has large sections that have crumbled.

He said that the team of experts will survey the bridge, record and repair each stone, strengthen the collapsed stone arch pillars, compact the soil and restore the Naga parapet.

“The project is funded by the Apsara Authority and will be completed in June,” Soth said.

Ta Oung Bridge is the longest bridge on the ancient road from Angkor Wat to Bakan Temple (Preah Khan Kampong Svay), in Siem Reap province. It has a length of 70 metres, a width of 13 metres and 14 arches. Each arch is two metres wide and six metres high.

The bridge is made of laterite and decorated with nine-headed Naga parapets. It has a Buddha statue in the centre of the serpent’s head which is sandstone. While it is not clear when the bridge was built, it is generally believed it was built during the Angkorian period. A clue is the Naga parapets crafted in the Bayon style (1181-1220 AD).


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