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From the early 17th century to the mid-19th century, this was the last centre of power of the Ankor dynasty, before the capital was moved to Phom Penh in 1866. Many historic buildings were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. At the foot of the hill around which the old Khmer capital once sprawled stands the large temple monastery of Wat Udong.

Temple Wat Udong large Buddha statue Buddha sitting on a snake Wat Santevorn Figure in the pond Elephant Temple pond Assembly of the Gods A lion in front of the entrance to the temple The snake guards the staircase Stupa View of the pond from the temple View from the temple to the hill Phnom Udong Monastery building fascinating terraced staircases Detail of the door View from the temple to the entrance gate Marble Buddha inside Wat Santevorn Wall frescoes with the life of Buddha The monk and our guide

All that remains of the great past are the stupas, some of which have been beautifully restored, towering on Phnom Udong hill, visible from afar.

The first stupa is the tomb of King Monivong (reigned 1927-41). The second is said to be the tomb of King Ang Duog (reigned 1845-59). However, there is also a stupa of him next to the Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh. The third stupa is the tomb of King Soryopor (reigned before 1618). The fourth stupa supposedly contains relics of Buddha.

Stupa on the way up There are about 500 steps to climb at 32 degrees Celsius on the upper platform Upper stupas View of Udong Stupa Chet Dey Mak Proum, Tomb of King Monivong Stupa Tray Troeng contains the urn with the ashes of King Chey Chetar II (1619 - 1625). Detail of the stupa with the elephants This newer stupa contains relics of Buddha brought here from Phonm Penh view lightbox for MACby VisualLightBox.com v5.9