Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
View photos from OUR PLACE the World Heritage collection

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 1991
Size of heritage:

Longitude: 110,492°
Latitude: -6,248°


Built in the 10th century, this is the largest temple compound dedicated to Shiva in Indonesia. Rising above the centre of the last of these concentric squares are three temples decorated with reliefs illustrating the epic of the Ramayana, dedicated to the three great Hindu divinities (Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma) and three temples dedicated to the animals who serve them.

Location on Map

Show bigger map on Openstreetmap


The Prambanan Temple Compounds, located in the province of Central Java, Indonesia, is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its exquisite Hindu temples. This ancient complex, dating back to the 9th century, stands as a testament to the rich cultural and architectural heritage of Indonesia.


The Prambanan Temple Compounds were built during the reign of the Sanjaya Dynasty, specifically by Rakai Pikatan, a king of the Mataram Kingdom. Construction of the temples began in the mid-9th century and continued for several decades. The complex was dedicated to the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The temples flourished until the 10th century when the Mataram Kingdom declined due to political instability. Subsequently, the complex fell into disrepair and was abandoned. Over the centuries, the temples were engulfed by volcanic ash, vegetation, and the encroaching jungle.

Rediscovery and Restoration

The Prambanan Temple Compounds were rediscovered in the early 19th century by British ruler Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Recognizing their historical and cultural significance, efforts were made to restore and preserve the temples. Restoration work began in the early 20th century and continued intermittently over the years. The most extensive restoration efforts took place in the 1930s under the guidance of Dutch archaeologist J.G. de Casparis. These efforts aimed to reconstruct the main temples and restore their original grandeur. Today, the Prambanan Temple Compounds stand as a remarkable example of successful restoration work.

Architecture and Design

The Prambanan Temple Compounds consist of three main temples dedicated to the Hindu deities Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. The largest and most impressive temple is dedicated to Shiva and stands at a towering height of 47 meters. It is adorned with intricate carvings depicting scenes from Hindu epics such as the Ramayana and Mahabharata. The temples are built in the traditional Hindu architectural style known as "Candi" and feature a combination of intricate stone carvings and towering spires. The complex also includes smaller temples, shrines, and pavilions, all arranged in a symmetrical layout.

Current State

Today, the Prambanan Temple Compounds are a popular tourist destination and a symbol of Indonesia's rich cultural heritage. The site attracts visitors from around the world who come to marvel at the architectural splendor and learn about the history of the region. Efforts are ongoing to preserve and protect the temples from natural and human-induced threats. Conservation measures include regular maintenance, monitoring of structural stability, and the implementation of visitor management strategies to minimize the impact of tourism on the site. The Prambanan Temple Compounds continue to be a significant religious site for Hindus in Indonesia, who visit the complex for worship and religious ceremonies. The temples also serve as a venue for cultural events, including traditional dance performances and music concerts, further enhancing their cultural significance. In conclusion, the Prambanan Temple Compounds in Central Java, Indonesia, are a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the architectural brilliance and cultural heritage of the region. With its rich history, stunning design, and ongoing preservation efforts, this ancient complex remains a testament to Indonesia's vibrant past and enduring cultural traditions.