Upon entering the grounds of the Royal Palace, we are pleasantly surprised to find less hustle and bustle than in the Grand Palace in Bangkok. It reminds us of the good old days, when there were not yet such big tourist crowds in Asia. You still have a quiet moment for the visit and you do not feel stressed.
Right at the entrance we notice the plant diversity. The palace is also known for its botanical gardens.
After the French had taken the patronage over Cambodia in 1863, King Norodom relocated the capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh. At the same time the construction of the royal palace started. The style was inspired by the Grand Palace in Bangkok. It is dominated by the Throne Hall. Right behind are the private areas of the royal family which are not open to the public. Connected to the palace is a royal temple, the silver pagoda.
At the entrance on the right is the Moonlight Pavilion. The open pavilion with balcony was built directly at the palace wall.
From the balcony the king can watch the parades. Furthermore, the pavilion serves for dance performances as well as for organizing banquets.
The throne room with the three towers is the mightiest buildings on the site. Unfortunately, photographing or filming is strictly forbidden inside the hall. The throne is designed in the traditional Cambodian Khmer style.
To the left is a small pavilion, which serves as a kind of treasury. The royal insignia, clothes of the king and queen and precious decorative objects are exhibited here. In addition, you can see pottery from the Khmer time preceding Angkor.
In addition to a number of other buildings one stands out in particular, the Pavilion of Napoleon. This building was once donated by the French and was made of iron. Currently it is being renovated, since it had become dilapidated.
Nevertheless, we succeeded to take a look behind the scaffolding cladding. A truly impressive, magnificent building with filigree balconies, beams and railings.
The full name of the silver pagoda is Preah Vihear Keo Morakot Preah but usually it is called Wat Preah Keo (“Temple of the Emerald Buddha”) in short .
You reach the Silver Pagoda via a passageway on the left side of the palace.
The main temple was covered with King Sihanouk with 5000 silver tiles, hence the name. Unfortunately, photographing and filming is also forbidden here.
On the site is a pavilion serving as a library and different stupas.
In a hall, on the way to the exit, a number of means of transport and accessories are exhibited. These include palanquins and a wheeled throne. Noteworthy is a magnificent staircase, used to climb on an elephant and the royal dragon boat.
Impressed by the pleasant atmosphere, the wonderful ambience and the preciousness, we leave the palace enriched with valuable impressions.
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