The National Museum

Located near the Royal Palace, Cambodia's National Museum offers a charming setting for a stunning collection of ancient Khmer art. Predominantly constructed of sandstone, the sculptures date from both the Angkorean and pre-Angkorean eras. These exhibits are complemented by more recent examples of Cambodian art. The museum is housed in a terra-cotta-roofed structure of traditional Cambodian design, which was built between 1917 and 1920. Apart from artistic treasures, the building is also home to a large colony of Cambodian freetail bats. The colony has lived in the building's rafters for years and is believed to be the largest group of bats living in a man-made structure anywhere in the world. But visitors need not worry about becoming a guano target, as the Australian government reinforced the ceiling of the museum in 1997. The only time you are likely to see the bats is when they fly from the roof en masse at dusk each evening.

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