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The World Heritage Site of Vat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements within the Champasak Cultural Landscape, Lao PDR

Capacity Building in Cultural Resource Management through the Preparation and Implementation of a Conservation and Management Master Plan for the Preservation of Vat Phou and Surrounding Archaeological Landscape within a Framework of Sustainable Development of Champasak, Lao PDR


The Champasak cultural landscape, including the Vat Phou Temple complex, is a remarkably well-preserved planned landscape more than 1,000 years old. It was shaped to express the Hindu vision of the relationship between nature and humanity, using an axis from mountain top to river bank to lay out a geometric pattern of temples, shrines and waterworks extending over some 10 kms. Two planned cities on the banks of the Mekong River are also part of the site, as well as Phou Kao mountain. The whole represents a development ranging from the 5th to 15th centuries, mainly associated with the Khmer Empire.