Erect in 1955, the Independence Monument symbolizes Cambodian Independence gained from French colonialism in 1953. It stands on the intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard in the center of the city.
It is in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa, of the style seen at Khmer temples such as Bakong Temple (a temple from the Rolous group of the 9th century), Banteay Seri and other Khmer historical sites. The one-hundred Nagas and snake motif can be seen in historical, cultural, archeological, and business contexts. The independence Monument was designed by the Cambodian architect Vann Molyvann.
On 9th November each year, government officials from the various ministers and institutions would congregate here to jubilantly celebrate the anniversary of the national independence.
In commemoration of the souls of brave combatants and heroes who had laid down their lives for the freedom of the country, senior military, and police officers would march before the Independence Monument, accompanied by a military band. The King ceremoniously lights up the Glory Torch placed inside the monument; then in a festive manner, colorful balloons are let loose into the sky.