Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Battambang (Khmer: ក្រុងបាត់ដំបង) is the capital city of Battambang province in northwestern Cambodia.
Battambang is the second-largest city in Cambodia with a population of over 250,000. Founded in the 11th century
by the Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice-producing province of the country. For over 500 years, it was the main commercial hub of Siam's Eastern Provinces, though it was always populated by Khmer with a mix of ethnic Vietnamese, Lao, Thai and Chinese. Still today Battambang is the main hub of the Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom Penh and Thailand, and as such it’s a vital link to Cambodia.
The city is situated by the Sangker River, a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way through Battambang Province providing its nice picturesque setting. As with much of Cambodia, the French Colonial architecture is an attractive bonus of the city. It is home to some of the best-preserved, French colonial architecture in the country.

From 1795 to 1907 the province was associated with the Siamese, under control of the Chavfea Baen family, which ruled for six generations. During that time Battambang was a small town with about 2500 residents. They lived mostly along a single road parallel to the river was disorderly.
The whole province was returned to Cambodia in 1907. Following from five times urban development of French colonial administration yielded the urban layout of Battambang enlarged the size of the French colonial town. In the first time development, they designed a grid pattern of well-defined streets, put in the urban structure and built roads such as Three main streets in town were built parallel to the Sangker River, connected the both side with two bridges in 1917. Military purposes and prison infrasture used erected inside the compound. Then, 19 years later ,a second urban development plan was created with a newly constructed railway linked Battambang to Phnom Penh. The urban structure was extended to the west of the town, featuring some important urban axes orienting on the railway station. Many outstanding buildings like residential villas and significant public buildings were constructed during that period. According to the third urban development plan for Battambang City, large extension areas were planned for the north, the east and for the south of the city. The both aesthetically and technically planned urban layout of that time was courageous and long-term thinking, featured some significant urban axis corresponding to the existing urban layout from the former period. Battambang city became the most developed part of all provincial even whole Cambodia, grew as a modern provincial capital, being the industrial and commercial centre of the region. Several large infrastructures and public facilities were built under the modernization program of the Cambodian government of then-prince Sihanouk. Several provincial departments, the court house and other public administrations were set up on both sides of the river. Textile and garment factories were built by French and Chinese investors, the airport was set running and the railway line was developed to reach Poipet. Numerous schools and a university were built. A sports centre, museum and an exhibition hall were constructed to serve the cultural needs of the growing population.
Source: en.wikipedia


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