Sunday, September 20, 2009

More from the tour

The Treasury on St 106 was built in 1885
The Treasury was built at the behest of the Resident Superieur Huyn de Verneville. The Khmer wording says General Department of National Treasury.
The tour of the old French quarter with the Heritage Mission began with our group of 30 interested people collecting together at the clock on Wat Phnom for an introduction. We crossed the road and headed over to the gardens that stand between Streets 106 and 108. As we stood next to the bridge we were told we were standing on the site of the city's grand canal that was constructed in 1894 and which marked the European (French) quarter of the city. The canal was 3,100 metres long with three different arms; we were standing on the southern section called Quai de Verneville (now St 106) and Quai Piquet (St 108), next to the modern reconstruction of the Treasury Bridge (aka the Stone Bridge or Naga Bridge) which connected the European part of town to the Chinese and Cambodian quarters in the south. The original bridge was built in 1892 by the architect Daniel Fabre. The canal was later filled in in the 1930s and the wide boulevard it created became a park. Along Street 106 and facing the park are a number of important buildings remaining from the time of the French administration. The Treasury was built in 1885 by the , whilst the Town Hall was constructed 5 years later. The latter was sold to a private company and now houses commercial offices alongwith some additions from the 1950s. At the corner and facing some of the colonial shophouses on Street 13 and the Place de la Poste is the former Bank of Indochina that still looks resplendent today having been carefully restored and cared for and converted into insurance offices and the exquisite Van's Restaurant. The Bank was constructed in 1893 with additions in 1920. The old bank vaults are now being used as offices. Our tour then continued around the Post Office area.
The former Town Hall, now a commercial enterprise, was constructed in 1890
Though obstructed by trees, this is the former Bank of Indochina, built in 1893 and now housing Van's Restaurant
The facade of the former Bank of Indochina, now office premises and a restaurant
The former Bank of Indochina was later a Cambodian bank and its vaults are used as offices today



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