One of the most beautiful places you will ever find on earth is the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. This structure was first built in the 1860s and has the original residence of the kings that ruled Cambodia early on. Even during the colonial rule by the French, the kings still resided in this palace.
Also known as Preah Barum Reachea Veang Nei Preah Reacheanachak Kampuchea, the Royal Palace was relocated to this location after King Norodom had the royal capital moved from Oudong to Phnom Penh. The location was ideal, built a top the old citadel, making it visible throughout the city. It is also a beautiful location because its location makes it so that if one looks east it is right between the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. A truly beautiful location for sure.
The choice for the new royal palace made sense since Phnom Penh had long been the capital of the Khmer Empire, which many Cambodians can trace their roots to. This had been the capital from 802 to the early part of the 15th century, and so King Norodom wanted to draw on this heritage when building the new palace.
It took over 400-years before the capital was moved back to the city. Oudong had been the capital since the Treaty of Protection was signed between the French and the Siamese governments. In the late 1860s the King decided to move the capital to Phnom Penh, and in 1871 the Royal Palace was completed.
There are several incredibly designed structures that make up the Royal Palace. There are 4 main compounds which each have a unique structure to them. On the south side is the famous Silver Pagoda, while the Khemarin Palace is found on the north side. In the central part of the compound there is Throne Hall, and to the west is where you will find the Inner Court. While the original structure was completed in 1871, much of the Royal Palace has taken time to fully complete. Some of the structures have even been dismantled and rebuilt through the years, with the last of these being completed in the 1960s.
There are two primary architectural designs that are seen in the Royal Palace. Looking to draw on the heritage of Cambodia, you will see a lot of Khmer architectural design in the way that the Royal Palace is designed. In fact, if one looks at the Palace, you can clearly see the influence, but that is not the only one.
Because it was the French that were ruling at the time that the Palace was built, you can also see French influence on the structure. This is not only seen in the architecture, but also in the artwork that is used within the Royal Palace.
Much of the original structure that was built by King Norodom has been completely demolished and rebuilt. Still, the location has remained constant, and it is has just been a commitment to get bigger and grander while still also drawing on the original themes that makes this an amazing place to visit.