Central Javanese temples were not built anywhere and anyhow, quite the contrary: their position within the landscape and their architectural design was determined by a series of socio-cultural, religious and economical factors. Correlations between temple distribution, natural surroundings and architectural design provide valuable clues as to how Central Javanese people structured the space around them, and how the religious landscape thus created developed. This thesis reveals the main traits of land occupancy during the Central Javanese period (late 8th to early 10th centuries): a core agricultural region, a series of secondary centres, an extensive communication network, and several religious centres – sometimes relatively isolated. It also explores the relationship between temples and landscape, and assess the role played by specific landscape markers on the choice of a building site. Beyond the questions of territory and landscape, the present work also offers a reflection on the structure of the built space and its possible relations with conceptualized space, showing the inlfuence of imported Indian concepts – as well as their limits.