Cambodia – Phnom Penh – Independence Monument & the Royal Palace

– DECEMBER 15, 2015

More sights to see throughout Phnom Penh.

INDEPENDENCE MONUMENT

The Independence Monument in Phnom Penh was built in 1958 for Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953.  It stands on the intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard in the centre of the city.  It is in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa, of the style seen at the great Khmer temple at Angkor Wat and other Khmer historical sites.  During national celebrations, the Independence Monument is the center of activity.  A ceremonial flame on the interior pedestal is often lit by a royal or high official on these occasions, and floral tributes line the stairs.

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INDEPENDENCE MONUMENT

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INDEPENDENCE MONUMENT

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INDEPENDENCE MONUMENT

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INDEPENDENCE MONUMENT

ROYAL PALACE

The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is a complex of buildings which serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia.  The Kings of Cambodia have occupied it since it was built in 1860s, with a period of absence when the country came into turmoil during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

The palace was constructed after King Norodom relocated the royal capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh in the mid-19th century.  It was built atop an old citadel called Banteay Kev.

The complex is divided by walls into four main compounds, on the south side is the Silver Pagoda, to the north side is the Khemarin Palace and the central compound contains the Throne Hall and to the west is the private sector or the Inner Court.  The buildings of the palace were built gradually overtime, and some were dismantled and rebuilt as late as the 1960s.

The Royal Palace has had some major modifications to its buildings over time; nearly all of the King Norodom era buildings have been demolished completely.  The King’s living area (closed to public) has also undergone big changes.  In the 1960s at Queen Kossamak’s command the Silver Pagoda was rebuilt due to the original aging structure being too weak to stand.

The palace has always been a popular tourist attraction in Phnom Penh.  Visitors are able to wander around the Silver Pagoda compound and the central compound containing the Throne Hall and Chan Chhaya Pavilion.  The King’s living area, which actually takes up half of the total palace ground area, including Khemarin Palace, Villa Kantha Bopha, Serey Mongkol Pavilion, royal gardens, and a number of other buildings and pavilions, is closed to the public, so we were unable to enter there.

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

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ROYAL PALACE

Too many areas were closed off to the public, so it was tough to get a real sense of how grand this complex is.  Next up are the national museum and the central market.

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For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.