The Bayon (or Bayuan, Khmer: ប្រាសាទបាយ័ន) is the central temple of the ancient city of Angkor Thom, capital of Khmer rulers in the early thirteenth century. It is located at the intersection of North-South and East-West roads.
It is the last of the "temples-mountains" of the site of Angkor, built by Jayavarman VII, restorer of the power of the Khmer kingdom of Angkor after the invasion of Chams1.
Its decoration is of an exceptional richness, at the peak of the Mahayana Buddhist art, it is like corsetée in an extremely reduced perimeter of about 150 m of side for the external enclosure. This fantastic monument, with its towers with faces, was dedicated by the sovereign to the Buddha whose doctrine he diffused.
Under the reign of Jayavarman VIII (1243-1295), the temple was converted to Hinduism, and the remodeling operations added to the impression of confusion of his plan.
The name of Bayon derives from the pali Vejayant (Sanskrit Vaijayant) designating the heavenly palace of the god Indra whose, according to the legend fixed in writing in Middle Khmer, the Bayon is the terrestrial reflection.