Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh Cambodia, Phnom Penh

Silver Pagoda, Phnom Penh

The Silver Pagoda is located on the south side of the Royal Palace, Phnom Penh. The official name is Wat Ubosoth Ratanaram as known as Preah Vihear Preah Keo Morakot which is commonly shortened to Wat Preah Keo in Khmer.

The vihara houses many national treasures including gold and jeweled Buddha statues. Most notable is a small green crystal Buddha (the "Emerald Buddha" of Cambodia) — some sources maintain it was made of Baccarat Crystal in 17th century but that's not possible since Baccarat Crystal didn't exist until 18th century; other sources indicate it was made in 19th century by Lalique, a glass designer who lived in 19th-20th century, what makes more sense taking into account that the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh was built using the Bangkok's Grand Palace as a model so the Bangkok's Emerald Buddha would be copied at the same time; but there are not reliable sources — and a life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha decorated with 9584 diamonds, the largest of which weighs 25 carats. It was created in the palace workshops during 1906 and 1907, the gold Buddha weighs in at 90 kg and is dressed in royal regalia commissioned by King Sisowath. 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. However, only a small area of these tiles are available to be viewed by the public on entering the pagoda.

The wall that surrounds the structures is covered with murals of the Reamker painted in 1903-1904 by Cambodian artists directed by the architect of the Silver Pagoda Oknha Tep Nimit Mak.

It is a notable wat (Buddhist temple) in Phnom Penh; Its grounds being used for various national and royal ceremonies. The cremated remains of Norodom Sihanouk are interred in the stupa of Kantha Bopha located on the temple's compound.

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