Royal Palace (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

The palace was built in 1866 by His Majeaty Preah Bat Norodom, in 1866 the royal family moved their residence from Oudong to the new Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. The following year, the city was inaugurated as the country’s capital. A little more than 100 years later, the same palace became a prison as it was here that the king and his family were held as prisoners by the Khmer Rouge.

The Royal Palace contains some spectacular buildings. Not least of which is the Throne Hall, situated to the left of the main entrance. It boasts a 59-meter tower. The tower roof is beautiful, having been decoratively tiered with golden coloured tiles. This building is used for high official celebrations, coronations and audiences with foreign dignitaries and government officials.

The Royal Palace sits between streets 184 and 240. The main entrance is situated on Samdech Sothearos Boulevard via the Pavilion of Dancers. Opposite the entrance sits another almost equally stunning Royal spectacle. The Royal Residence, along with their Royal Highnesses, houses the sacred white elephant, the most auspicious and reverd symbol of royal beneficence within Cambodia.

The eastern Victory Gate leads directly to the entrance of the throne hall and is used only by royalty and VIPs. This is the gate through which former king Norodom Sihanouk’s body was taken for a six-kilometre procession to the crematorium through the capital’s streets in February 2013, following the customary three months during which his embalmed body lay in state in the Royal Palace. Three days later, mourners gathered around the northern or funeral gate, which is only opened after the death of a monarch.

The Royal Palace of Phnom Penh is a must for any tourist in the city. The entire complex is walled and although open to the public, the Cambodian royal family lives in the Palace and therefore, certain areas are closed. This huge complex mainly striking pointy roofs in golden color, reminiscent to some extent to Grand Palace in Bangkok.

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Address: Samdach Sothearos Blvd (3), Phnom Penh, Cambodia
More information: People typically spend 15 min to 1.5 hr here
Opening hours: 8-11.00am daily & 2-5pm Tue-Thu, Sat & Sun
Entrance fee: admission incl camera 25,000 riel, guide per hr US$10

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