Founded in 1434, the city was always noted for the beauty of its tranquil riverside location on the Mekong River. Under the French protectorate Phnom Penh was given the name the "Pearl of The East" and was regarded as one of the loveliest cities in all Indochina. The city’s ambitious colonial architecture and wide boulevards added to its charm as did the Royal palace and the many royal events and ceremonies. Along with the serene beauty of its many Buddhist temples and saffron robed monks.
During Cambodia’s post-colonial independence in the early 1950’s; this reputation for aesthetic charm was further enhanced with the undertaking of several large, state buildings and monuments commissioned by King Norodom Sihanouk and implemented by his specially appointed team of town planners, led by the gifted modernist architect Van Molyvann.
There are still many surviving French colonial buildings scattered along the grand boulevards, these impressive structures still stand majestically as part of Phnom Penh’s living history, as do many of Molyvann’s greatest works such as the independence monument and the Olympic stadium.
More recently modern structures with contemporary designs have begun to appear on the cityscape.
Phnom Penh is a city with a turbulent history, today you will find it to be a city with a deep and rich culture, married to a bright and prevailing future.