Standing at the intersection of two of Phnom Penh’s major boulevards, Norodom and Sihanouk, is the commanding edifice of the Independence Monument, "Vimean Akareach" a serene structure, set in the eye of the chaos that is one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares.
The monument was completed in 1958 to commemorate Cambodia's independence from France in 1953; designed by renowned Cambodian architect Van Molyvann, the monument pays homage to classical Khmer design being in the form of a lotus shaped stupa, in the style of the great temples of Angkor.
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.
Near the monument on the same stretch of nature strip as it continues toward the river, is the newly constructed and equally impressive tribute Statue of King Father, Norodom Sihanouk.