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Cambodia > Pictures and travelogues > Phnom Penh Silver Pagoda

Phnom Penh in Cambodia: pictures from the Silver Pagoda and the nearby monuments in the royal palace estate.

Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh
The Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo Morokot) near the royal palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

The Silver Pagoda is a major tourist attraction of the royal estate of Phnom Penh. It is located in the south side of the Royal Palace. It is also known as Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha. However, it should not be confused with the pagoda of the same name in Bangkok.

The original silver pagoda dates from 1892-1902. It was made of wood and brick. The pagoda was rebuilt in concrete in 1962 in the same architectural style. The marble that is used for terraces and columns comes from Italy. The floor of the pagoda was completely covered with over 5300 silver tiles weighing a total of 6 tons. However only a small area of these tiles is available to be viewed by the public. The mural paintings along the galleries depict scenes from the Reamker, the Cambodian version of the Ramayana.

The pagoda houses numerous valuable Buddha statues. A statue made of gold and topped with 2086 diamonds (including one of 25 carats) represents Buddha Maitreya (a future Buddha), life-size. It weighs 90 kg, pedestal and parasol included. The work was commissioned in 1904 by King Sisowath in honor of his deceased brother, King Norodom. The statue bears the name of Preah Chinreangsei Reachika Norodom.

Another statue, which gave its name to the pagoda, is the Emerald Buddha on a large pedestal in gold. It dates from the 17th century. The nearby Buddha relic is protected in a small glass-case. It was brought from Sri Lanka to Phnom Penh in 1956. Other golden statues depict the life of the Buddha. They were donated by Queen Kossamak in 1969.

The pagoda served as a monastery for the education of King's sons. A bell tower is erected near the pagoda. It rung as a sign for monks to go to class or to open and close the doors of the pagoda in solemn ceremonies. On the north side of the pagoda, the Mondop is a temple library which houses a Tripitaka, a copy of the 3 collections of sacred Buddhist teachings (110 volumes).


Sanctuary of Princess Norodom Kantha Bopha, near to the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh
Sanctuary of Princess Norodom Kantha Bopha, near to the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Near to the Silver Pagoda, there are several royal stupas ("chedis"): the stupa of King Ang Duon, the stupa of King Norodom, the stupa of King Norodom Suramarit and his wife, Queen Kossamak (the parents of King Norodom Sihanouk), as well as the stupa of  Princess Norodom Kantha Bopha. She was the beloved daughter of King Norodom Sihanouk, but she died of illness at the age of 4 years. Its stupa, called Prarng Kantha Bopha, dates from 1960.
Statue of King Norodom on a white horse near the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh
Statue of King Norodom on a white horse near the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Apparently, it has the body of Napoleon III and the head of King Norodom.


 

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Phnom Penh in Cambodia: pictures from the Silver Pagoda and the nearby monuments in the royal palace estate. Cambodia travel guide with 200 nice pictures.