The capital city of Phnom Penh is the largest, most populous city in Cambodia. Once known as the Pearl of Asia in the 1920s, Phnom Penh is a significant global and domestic tourist destination for Cambodia. The city is located in the south-central region of Cambodia, at the confluence of the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers.
Phnom Penh is known for its traditional Khmer and French influenced architecture and is also the commercial, political and cultural hub of Cambodia. More than 1 million of Cambodia’s population of almost 15 million people live in the capital.
The city takes its name from the Wat Phnom Daun Penh (known now as just the Wat Phnom or Hill Temple), built in 1373 to house five statues of Buddha on a manmade hill 27 meters high. It was named after Daun Penh (Grandma Penh), a wealthy widow.
During the reign of the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s, Phnom Penh was emptied of all its residents because Pol Pot forced all Cambodians to live in the countryside as farmers. In the abandoned city, the Khmer Rouge set up a prison at Tuol Sleng High School to torture anyone that they thought were a threat to their regime. This included teachers, doctors, religious leaders, former military and political leaders, city people, and even children or people who wore glasses. The Killing Fields (Choeng Ek) is the mass grave site for these prisoners. There is now a memorial at the site for those who were murdered during those four years.
Since the years of the Khmer Rouge, Phnom Penh has been able to rebuild and grow into a thriving city. This growth continues to improve and alter the city as it seeks to take its place in Southeast Asia.
In Phnom Penh UofN run:
the University Ministry,
and three ministries of the Youth Development Center: Joshua Center, Beong Tumpon and Toul Sambo.