Pre Rup was built around 961, just a few years after the similarly designed East Mebon and located just to the south. The temple is built on a grander scale than the East Mebon, and is perhaps the best example of the temple-mountain style of structure. It’s now believed to have been the state temple of king Rajendravarman II. Pre Rup is roughly square in plan. A three tiered platform is enclosed within two concentric walls. Between the two walls on the east side are two groups of three towers. Inside the second wall, and all around the first tier, there are long halls that were probably for use by pilgrims.
The first tier is wider on the east side than on the other three. On either side of the east path on this level are large towers believed to have been libraries. On the top-most tier sit the five large towers of the central sanctuary, with openings to the east and false doors on the other three sides.
The temple is spelled ‘Pre Rup’ on most tourist maps, but apparently it should be “Preah Rup” like many other temple of Angkor. The local pronunciation is “pray roop”. With its brick and laterite construction, the temple is quite beautiful in the early morning or late afternoon sun. Indeed, the temple has become a popular alternative spot to view the sunset. While there are crowds who gather around the top in the late afternoon, there are not yet the hordes that swarm up Phnom Bakheng.