Battambang is Cambodia's second-largest city and the capital of Battambang Province, which was founded in the 11th century. As a city Battambang is not particularly old although there is evidence of occupation in the area for over 1000 years. It was established as an important trading city sometime in the 18th century. Much of the architecture still seen today in the centre of the town dates from the first half of the twentieth century. Development was halted by the Second World War when Battambang once again fell under Thai administration but continued rapidly after Independence in 1953.