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Cambodia > Pictures and travelogues > Royal Palace in Phnom Penh

Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: pictures from the Throne Hall, the royal coat of arms, and Khmer clothes.

Royal palace of Phnom Penh in Cambodia
Royal palace of Phnom Penh in Cambodia: the throne hall (Preah Thineang Teva Vinichhay).

Phnom Penh has been the capital city of Cambodia since 1866 when King Norodom I built a new palace and moved the administration of the country to that city. Phnom Penh is also the economic center of the country. The city is undergoing a dramatic development. It is located in the south part of Cambodia at the intersection (called Chaktomuk") of four rivers: the Tonle Sap River, which joins the Mekong River (called in Cambodia, "Upper Mekong") shortly before the latter splits into two branches: the Mekong River itself (called "Lower Mekong") and the Tonle Bassac.

The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh is one of the main tourist attractions of the city. It consists of a set of buildings and gardens. The complex is divided into three parts delimited by enclosures: the central part including the throne hall and some other structures, the northern part formed around the Silver Pagoda, and, to the south, the Khemarin Palace, which is the actual residence of the royal family (not open to the public). It is not allowed to take pictures inside the buildings, apart from the small museum.

The original wooden buildings were rebuilt in concrete later on. The complex occupies an area of 435 x 421 m. it is located in the city center near the intersection of the four aforementioned rivers.

The current throne hall (Preah Tineang Tevea Vinichhay) dates back to 1917. It covers an area of 60 m x 30 m. Its central spire is 59 m high. The throne hall is used mainly for coronations, royal hearings, presentations of credentials by new foreign ambassadors, and special events. It is a cross-shaped building. Like the other buildings of the site, it is oriented towards the east.

Royal Palace of Phnom Penh and the coat of arms of the king of Cambodia
Royal Palace of Phnom Penh: the coat of arms of the king of Cambodia adorns the Damnak Chan, the former office of the King.

Close to the throne hall, you find among others:
-- The Preah Reach Damnak Chan which was the office of King Norodom Sihanouk. It now houses the administration of the complex. It was built in the years 1954-59.

-- The Pavilion of Napoleon III was built originally for the Empress Eugenie, the wife of Napoleon III, in Ismailia, northeast of Egypt for the opening of the Suez Canal. Napoleon III then presented it to King Norodom. This Pavilion in iron was reassembled near the royal palace in Phnom Penh. Late 2014, it was in very bad condition. The rehabilitation was in process.

-- The Ho Samran Phirum dates from the years 1915-17. It is particularly used to store musical instruments and other pieces used at the coronation. A part of the building is now the Royal Museum.

-- The Preah Tineang Phochany dates from 1912. It is a large dance hall that hosts performances of the Royal Ballet. Banquets for special guests may be held in that place.

Another dance hall is best known because it is erected on a section of the outer enclosure: the Preah Tineang Chanchhaya or Moonlight Pavilion. That open-air pavilion dates back to 1913. Yearly on the National Day of the country and at special events, the King delivers an address to the nation from the tribune of that structure.

Museum of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh
Museum of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh

Khmer dresses, a color by day, in the Museum of the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh in Cambodia.


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Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia: pictures from the Throne Hall, the royal coat of arms, and royal clothes. Cambodia travel guide with 200 nice pictures.