2.27.20 - 2.27.20 95 °F
After the sobering reminder of man's inhumanity to man, we did our afternoon excursion to the Cambodian Royal Palace. The King was in residence, but did not invite us to tea. The palace is home to the Silver Pagoda - one of the most amazing Pagoda's in the world. No photography was allowed inside.
The Palace is a complex of buildings which serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia. Its full name in the Khmer language is Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol. The Kings of Cambodia have occupied it since it was built in the 1860s, with a period of absence when the country came into turmoil during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge. The palace was constructed between 1866 and 1870, after King Norodom relocated the royal capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh. It was built atop an old citadel called Banteay Kev. It faces approximately East and is situated at the Western bank of the cross division of the Tonle Sap River and the Mekong River called Chaktomuk (an allusion to Brahma).
The Silver Pagoda (vihara) houses many national treasures including many gold and jeweled Buddha statues. The most significant are a small green crystal Buddha (the "Emerald Buddha" of Cambodia), and a life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha commissioned by King Sisowath, weighing 90 kg and dressed in royal regalia and set with 9584 diamonds, the largest of which weighing 25 carats, created in the palace workshops during 1906 and 1907. During King Norodom Sihanouk's pre-Khmer Rouge reign, the Silver Pagoda was inlaid with more than 5,000 silver tiles and some of its outer facade was remodeled with Italian marble.