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Borobodur and Prambanan: the most beautiful ancient temples of Java


The temple of Borobodur is located in the center of the island of Java, 40 km north-west of Yogyakarta, this temple built between the eighth and ninth centuries is among the most important artistic Buddhist building of Southeast Asia.

Consisting of a base of 123 metres per side in the shape of a pyramid, on which rise five square terraces, the structure has three levels, above the terraced pyramid representing the first level, there is a truncated cone with three circular platforms and, on the top, a monumental stupa.

The whole structure is densely decorated with reliefs illustrating the life of the Buddha, there are about 1,500 reliefs covering a total area of 2,500 square meters. On top there are 72 stupa with inside a Buddha statue, only the central stupa is empty, it represents Nirvana. The Borobodur was restored with the help of UNESCO in 1970, and since 1991 is part of UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The Prambanan temple, located 16 km from Yogyakarta and less than 40 km from the Buddhist temple of Borobodur, is the most important Hindu temple on the island of Java.

The main building, built between the eighth and tenth centuries, during the reign of Sanjaya dynasty consists of three temples, called Trimurti, decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of Ramayana, the central temple is the largest and reaches a height of 47 meters and is dedicated to Shiva. The two sides temples are dedicated to Vishnu and Brahma and reach a height of 33 meters.

Around the three main temples rise other buildings like the three temples dedicated to vehicles (Vahana) that serve the gods, who are in front of the main temples.

At the time of its construction, the temple complex of Prambanan contained over 250 large and small temples, today there are some dozens of them reduced to ruins, the perimeter wall that encloses the temple measuring 390 meters on each side.

The complex of Prambanan is part of world heritage sites by UNESCO.

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