Saturday, September 25, 2010

Open sesame

The Chamkarmon State Palace, designed by Vann Molyvann
Fresh back from a rare visit to the Chamkarmon Palace compound, opened up to fifty members of the public for a one-off visit as part of the Open Doors Weekend. The Chamkarmon compound was the home of Cambodia's head of state and as such contained royal residences, used in the 1950s and 1960s by Norodom Sihanouk, his wife and daughter, Princess Bopha Devi, as well as the main State Palace and other buildings. Constructed over a decade from 1955 onwards, the architects who dominated its design were Vann Molyvann, who we already know so much about and another, Lu Ban Hap, who designed the Chenla State Cinema and the O’Russei and Olympic markets. When Lon Nol took charge in 1970 he moved into the compound and erected some more structures, including bunkers, before the whole area was renovated with Chinese and Japanese government funds in the late 1990s. More later.
The former royal residence of Norodom Sihanouk, now being converted into offices

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