The Silver Pagoda is a temple compound and museum located within the confines of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Locally, it is called Wat Preah Keo Morokot, which means temple of the Emerald Buddha in Khmer.
The Silver Pagoda was originally a wooden building that was later refurnished in concrete and marble in 1962. It is situated next to the Royal Palace, separated by a walled walkway. There are several attractions located within the compound of the Silver Pagoda such a library, shrines, stupas and gardens. Wat Preah Keo Morokot is where the King of Cambodia meets with monks and listens to their sermons as well as a venue for royal processions and ceremonies.
One of the distinguishable features of Wat Preah Keo Morokot is its solid silver tiles, which has earned the temple the English moniker of Silver Pagoda. There are over 5,000 of them, with each one weighing approximately one kilogram.
The main building is home to many of Cambodia’s treasures. The most prominent is Cambodia’s own Emerald Buddha, a small 17th century figured made of crystal and a near human sized Maitreya Buddha (a figure depicting Buddha’s successor) coated with over 2000 diamonds and adorned in royal regalia.
The silver-floored chapel, where the emerald Buddha is housed is in the center of a big paved courtyard. The courtyard is surrounded with murals depicting the Hindu epic Ramayana (a tale depicting the duties of relationships). Within the chapel is a small library containing Buddhist scriptures traditionally written on palm leaves.
In front of the pagoda is a fairly noticeable statue of a man riding a white horse. The man was originally Napoleon Bonaparte and it was a gift to King Norodom from the French military commander. However, the head was later changed to closely resemble the Cambodian King. South of the courtyard is a small chapel where a large silver painted Buddha footprint is housed. At various locations throughout the courtyard are several gray stupas where ashes of former kings and queens are held.
Exotissimo’s Phnom Penh Sightseeing Half Day – Phnom Penh day trip is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the Cambodian capital as you start the day off with a tour to the opulent Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. We will then take you to the National Museum to uncover antiques and artifacts tied to the ancient past and finally to Wat Phnom for panoramic views of the city.
Cycling around Phnom Penh is a fun and exciting way to really discover the capital. Visit small villages, schools and silk weaving houses in our Biking the Islands of Phnom Penh day trip tour. Meet friendly locals and sample delicacies along the way in a tour that will bring you closer to the real Cambodia. You can also see our Cambodia tours page for other memorable trips into this fascinating country.
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