Cambodians or tourists are always impressed by Independence Monument – one of the country’s most famous buildings. Today’s question:
“Who built the Independence Monument and why?”
In 1953 Cambodia gained its independence from its colonial rulers, France. The move to Cambodia’s freedom was led by King Norodom Sihanouk. But in 1955 he abdicated the throne in favor of his father and became “Prince Sihanouk”. For the next 5 years, the Prince encouraged Khmer architects to design buildings in a unique and authentic style, combining both: Cambodia’s ancient culture and modernity.
Once the idea for a monument to mark Cambodia’s independence was given to the go-ahead the Prince turned to designer Vann Molyvann. Born in Kampot in 1926, Vann Molyvann won a scholarship to train in France. He returned in 1956, the first fully-qualified Cambodian architect. Prince Sihanouk made him the Head of Public Works and State Architect.
The Independence Monument, built in 1958, was one of Vann Molyvann’s first big successes. It is a stupa in the shape of a lotus. Fifty years later it is the center of official activity during national celebrations. Ceremonial flames are lit inside the Monument by Royal or high state representatives. Thousands of Cambodia flowers lining the stairs enhance the beauty of Vann Molyvann’s design.
His work extends to other magnificent Phnom Penh buildings such as the Chaktomuk Conference Hall and the Olympic Stadium. Did you know he is now living quietly in the center of Phnom Penh? So when you next drive past the Monument, give Vann Molyvanna a thought.
Maybe you don’t have a hotel for your Cambodia trip yet, then you can browse and book directly here at booking. com*:
Or you can check out agoda. com* there are also great deals.
Links with a * are affiliate links. If you like my blog and you buy, book or subscribe to something via an affiliate link, I get a small commission from the provider. Of course there are no additional costs for you.
Did you enjoy reading the post? Why not follow Visit Angkor on Facebook, where you’ll find more articles about Cambodia? I’d also be happy to hear your reviews and comments– the asterisks are directly under this text. Thank you so much :-)