Preah Tineang

Preah Tineang is the Cambodian name for the Throne Room at the Royal Palace. Its full Cambodian name means "Sacred Seat of Judgement," and the hall is used in inaugurating new kings, but it is also employed for other royal events such as important coronations. As the king’s official stage for addressing audiences including diplomats, and holding royal meetings, Preah Tineang Tevea Vinicchay is a major accomplishment in Cambodian history, impressive in its architecture and embellishments which are most certainly fit for a king.

The Royal Palace and nine additional buildings create the complex. The palace was the first, built in 1866 on a waterfront citadel. The Royal Palace Throne Room was the second structure built on palace grounds, originally from wood materials during 1869 and 1870 when King Norodom (who moved the capital to Phnom Penh from Oudong in the nineteenth century) was on the seat of the throne. In 1915, the original Preah Tineang was de-constructed and rebuilt in 1919 under King Sisowath, for which the now-thriving Sisowath Quay (on the Tonle Sap) riverfront area was dedicated.

Several other significant changes were implemented under King Sisowath; in 1907 he ordered Phochani Hall to be built, and also had many of the older, most derelict buildings torn down. The Chanchhaya Pavilion was redesigned to be bigger in size at the same time the Royal Palace Throne Room was reconfigured. These palace buildings perfectly exemplify Khmer design and architecture, inspired greatly by the temples of Angkor Wat, and Angkor in general, with hints of European influences remaining from the French colonial period.

Topped by a 60-foot golden spire, Preah Tineang measures roughly 100 x 200 meters, and auspiciously faces east, as do all the buildings. It stands on dozens of whitewashed columns encircling the entire structure, which sits atop several sets of stairs, creating a sort of pedestal. During tours, visitors can see two thrones: Preah Tineang some of the most notable art is also within the building; just as in the Silver Pagoda, the Royal Palace Throne Room holds some of the Reamker frescoes incorporated into the ceiling.

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