Near the Royal Palace is the recently restored National Museum. The building itself represents the finest of Phnom Penh's architecture and within are over 5,000 works of art ranging from the 6th through the 13th century. The museum's central courtyard provides a pleasant space to relax amid lotus ponds under the shade of palm trees.
The National Museum is the country's leading historical and archaeological museum. It houses the world's largest collection of Khmer art, although as a centre of Khmer historical commemoration it tends to be overshadowed by the great temple complex at Angkor and the associated museums and displays in the Siem Reap region.
The museum was built in 1917â€“20 by the French colonial authorities then in control of Cambodia, in a traditional Khmer style, with French influence.
Cambodia's National Museum, Located near the Royal Palace, offers a charming setting for a stunning collection of ancient Khmer art. Predominantly constructed of sandstone, the sculptures date from both the Angkorean and pre-Angkorean eras. These exhibits are complemented by more recent examples of Cambodian art. The museum is housed in a terra-cotta-roofed structure of traditional Cambodian design, which was built between 1917 and 1920. Until recently, the building was also home to a large colony of Cambodian freetail bats, which lived in the rafters. They moved out after renovations to the roof and ceilings in March 2002.