The Independence Monument in Phnom Penh
About The Independence Monument in Phnom Penh
The Independence Monument (Khmer: វិមានឯករាជ្យ, “Vimean Ekareach”) in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, was built in 1958 to memorialize Cambodia’s independence from France in 1953. It stands on the intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard in the centre of the city. It is in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa, of the style seen at the Khmer temple at Banteay Srei and other Khmer historical sites.
The Independence Monument was designed by the Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann, who was “personally selected and instructed” by Prince Norodom Sihanouk on how it should look like, combining “the religious and the secular.” It stands 37 meters tall.
During national celebrations, The Independence Monument is the center of activity. A ceremonial flame on the interior pedestal is often lit by a royal or high official on these occasions, and floral tributes line the stairs. Every year, The Independence Monument is visited by foreign tourists and locals alike. Behind the monument is the Norodom Sihanouk Memorial, constructed in 2013.
There is a big open park at the Independence Monument and it seems to be a popular place among the locals. Smacked right at the corner of Norodom and Sihanouk Blvd, this piece of landmark is hard to miss. I took a nice picture of this piece but be careful because it is located in the middle of a roundabout.The monument was built in 1962 to celebrate Cambodia’s independence from the foreign rule. It also serves as a monument to Cambodias war dead. It is the site for celebrations and services.When walking around in the city of Phnom Penh, have a look on the Independence Monument,10 minutes walking behind the Royal Palace.
It is surrounded by very large parcs and fountains and the monument itself is not the most impressive in the city. The Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, was built in 1958 following the country’s independence from France. It stands on the intersection of Norodom and Sihanouk Boulevards in the centre of the city. It is in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa, of the style seen at the great Khmer temple at Angkor Wat and other Khmer historical sites.The Independence Monument was inaugurated in 1958 to celebrate Cambodia’s independence from foreign rule, now it also serves as a monument to Cambodia’s war dead. At night the monument is illuminated by red, blue and white floodlights, the colors of the Cambodian flag. It is the site of celebrations and services on holidays such as Independence Day and Constitution Day.
Names of Cambodia
The “Kingdom of Cambodia” is the official English name of the country. The English “Cambodia” is an anglicisation of the French “Cambodge”, which in turn is the French transliteration of the Khmer កម្ពុជា kampuciə. Kampuchea is the shortened alternative to the country’s official name in Khmer ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា prĕəh riəciənaacak kampuciə. The Khmer endonym Kampuchea derives from the Sanskrit name कम्बोजदेश kambojadeśa, composed of देश deśa (“land of” or “country of”) and कम्बोज kamboja, which alludes to the foundation myths of the first ancient Khmer kingdom. The term Cambodia was already in use in Europe as early as 1524, since Antonio Pigafetta (an Italian explorer who followed Ferdinand Magellan in his circumnavigation of the globe) cites it in his work Relazione del primo viaggio intorno al mondo (1524–1525) as Camogia.
Colloquially, Cambodians refer to their country as either ស្រុកខ្មែរ srok khmae (Khmer pronunciation: [srok ˈkʰmae]), meaning “Khmer’s Land”, or the slightly more formal ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា prɑteih kampuciə (Khmer pronunciation: [prɑ.ˈteih kam.pu.ciə]), literally “Country of Kampuchea”. The name “Cambodia” is used most often in the Western world while “Kampuchea” is more widely used in the East.
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