Central Post Office

Phnom Penh, Cambodia | C.1895

Photo Credit: Annunziata Militano

The bright yellow Central Post Office is a landmark from the time when Phnom Penh experienced massive growth and development. When Cambodia and France signed the protectorate treaty of 1863, the city was only a small village between the river in the east and the plain in the west.

Around 1890, Administrator and Senior Resident, Hyun de Verneville, launched a series of  large scale urban projects meant to turn Phnom Penh into a modern city. He ordered the construction of bridges and roads, hundreds of houses, and several public buildings, including the post office.

French architect and town planner, Daniel Fabre, designed the building around 1895. A fine example of Neo Classical architecture, the building features Roman arch windows, columns, balconies, pediments, and sculpted decorations. 

The area around the post office became known as the French district, and many of the villas and public buildings feature various European architectural styles. Though the French protectorate ended in 1953, many Belle Epoque and Art Deco structures still reside along cobblestone streets bordered with trees and gardens.

The Post Office occupies a square alongside many heritage buildings at the heart of the French district. During the 1940s, a central tower surmounted by a cupola roof was replaced by an array of loudspeakers. The building underwent a full restoration in 2004 and today remains a functioning post office.

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