While Wat Phnom plays its role as the symbol of the capital, Independence Monument represents its heart of the country: It celebrates Cambodia ‘s independence on 9 November, 1954, from French colonial rule. The monument is also a cenotaph to Cambodia’s war dead. The monument was designed by the famous Cambodian architect Mr. Vann Molyvann, and built in 1958. Its strong Khmer design features are derived from the Prasat Bakong temple at Siem Reap province. The tower stands 40 meters high and is decorated by the five-headed snake dragon heads, each facing outwards from the buildings four corners. There are five tiers of dragon heads, totaling 100 individual sculpted heads on the whole building.

The Independence Monument is located on the intersection of Preah Norodom Boulevard and Preah Sihanouk Boulevard. The area to the east of the Monument is given over to public grassed parks, a popular place for locals and tourists alike as the sun sets. Illuminated water fountains surround the monument and make for impressive night photography.

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