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royal palace in Phnom Penh

The Royal Palace of Cambodia is located in the city of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. It was built in the 19th century as a residence for Cambodian kings. It is made up of a series of buildings, including the Throne Hall, the king’s private quarters, audience halls and temples. It is surrounded by a large garden and is considered one of the architectural gems of the city. The palace is open to the public, but certain parts are reserved for members of the royal family and are therefore closed to the public. It also serves as an official ceremonial venue for important events such as national celebrations and royal audiences.

The history of the Royal Palace of Cambodia

The history of Cambodia’s royal palace dates back to the 19th century, when King Norodom decided to build a residence for the royal family in Phnom Penh. He chose a location on the banks of the Mekong and commissioned the construction of a complex of buildings including audience halls, private quarters for the king and royal family, and temples.

Over the years, the palace was expanded and renovated several times, notably during the reign of King Sisowath (1904-1927) and King Norodom Sihanouk (1941-1955). During the period of Japanese occupation during World War II, the palace was used as a headquarters by the Japanese occupying forces.

Over the past decades, the palace has witnessed many important events in Cambodian history, including the arrival of Vietnamese troops in 1979 which ended the Khmer Rouge Revolution, and the inauguration of various Cambodian kings.

Despite the destruction caused by armed conflicts and the years of Khmer Rouge revolution, the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh has remained a symbol of Cambodian culture and history. It is today open to the public for tours and visitors can view the historic buildings, gardens and temples, as well as collections of art and objects of cultural interest.

The architecture of the Royal Palace of Cambodia is a unique blend of traditional Cambodian styles and French colonial influences. The buildings are constructed of wood and brick, with gabled roofs and carved wooden ornaments. The facades are decorated with geometric patterns and bas-reliefs, inspired by Cambodian mythology.

The Throne Hall, or Preah Tineang Tevea Vinnichay Mohai Moha Prasat, is one of the most imposing buildings in the complex. It was built in 1917 and is used for official ceremonies and royal audiences. It is decorated with geometric patterns and bas-reliefs, as well as a double-sloped roof covered with glazed tiles.

The king’s private quarters are located in a separate building and are surrounded by a lush garden. Temples, such as Wat Preah Keo Morakot, or the Emerald Temple, are also an important element of the complex’s architecture. It is constructed of wood and decorated with religious motifs and Buddha statues.

The architecture of the royal palace in Phnom Penh

In general, the architecture of the Royal Palace of Cambodia is a testament to the country’s cultural richness and historical heritage, with a blend of traditional Khmer style, and the French influence is also visible in the palace architecture, particularly in buildings constructed during the period of French protectorate in Cambodia (1863-1953). The buildings feature architectural features such as paned windows, wrought iron railings, and gabled roofs.

Thai architecture also played a role in the construction of the palace, particularly in the temples and ceremonial halls. The roofs of these buildings are often decorated with decorative patterns in the form of scales and dragon heads, which are characteristic of religious architecture in Thailand.

The result is a complex of magnificent buildings, which combines traditional Khmer and French architectural styles to create a unique and remarkable place.

In sum, the architecture of the Cambodian royal palace reflects the varied cultural and historical influences that played a role in its development over the centuries. It is considered an architectural and cultural gem for the country and attracts thousands of visitors every year.

Visit to the royal palace

Visiting the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh is a unique opportunity to discover Cambodian architecture, history and culture. The palace is open to the public every day, except on official ceremony days. It is recommended to go there early in the morning to avoid crowds and to take advantage of the best light conditions for photos.

Visitors can explore different palace buildings, including the Throne Hall, where Cambodian kings held official audiences and received foreign dignitaries. It is also possible to visit the king’s private quarters, which house collections of art and objects of cultural interest. Buddhist temples, such as Wat Pra Keo and Wat Preah Keo Morakot, are also open to the public and offer stunning views of the palace gardens.

It is important to remember that the palace is a sacred place for Cambodians, so it is recommended to dress appropriately and behave respectfully during the visit. Photographs can be taken in most buildings, but taking photos is prohibited in the king’s private quarters and in certain parts of the temples.

It is possible to visit the palace individually, but guided tours are also offered for a more complete visit and to have more detailed information on the history and architecture of the palace.
It is also possible to visit the palace outside opening hours for visitors, to attend the ceremonies and official events organized there.


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