Much of Battambang's special charm lies in its early 20th-century French architecture. Some of the finest colonial buildings are along the waterfront, especially along the two blocks of St 1 south of Psar Nathmarket.
Battambang is home to some of the best examples of French colonial architecture in Cambodia. At a time when Southeastasian countries have started to promote their colonial legacy as a tourist asset, the colonial buildings are no doubt one of the best of Battambang's attractions. Architecture expressed the power of colonial dominion, and as such, some of the most impressive buildings are those where the colonial rule was asserted: the Governor's palace, the House of Courts or schools amongst others. However, some of the villas and the shopping arcades are still in good condition and are worth a visit.
The majority of the colonial buildings are situated along the riverfront, specially along the two blocks of St 1 south of Psar Nat. The shop houses along St 3 east of the train station are also a fine example of the French architecture of the early XXth century.