Throne Hall

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh

Cambodia's Royal Palace complex was begun by King Norodom I (ruled 1860-1904) in 1886, when the capital was moved to Phnom Penh. Most buildings were completed before World War I, with involvement by French administrators and Thai designers and architects. French influence can be seen in the formal gardens which enhance the palace, and there are some European-style buildings on the grounds.

The building shown in this photo is the Throne Hall, which was originally built in wood. The present structure dates from 1919. Imitating the face towers at Angkor, four faces overlook the complex from the main spire high above the roof (closeup), whose eaves are braced by flying celestials. The staircases, that lead up to the building's high wrap-around porch, are decorated by naga balustrades.

See Canby Publications: Phnom Penh for an overall description of the royal palace site and buildings.