Top museum in Vietnam

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					Top museums in Vietnam
Vietnam National Museum of history
The National Museum of Vietnamese History is housed in a magnificent example of Indochinese
architecture, which were until 1910 the French consulate and the residence of the governor

The building was also home to the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient (EFEO), during which time
it became a museum to exhibit EFEO finds. Over time the building deteriorated, and it was not
until the early 1930s, following a seven-year renovation, that what you can see now was realized.
The entrance gives on to an impressive two-storey rotunda with exhibits all around and in many
galleries to the rear.

The contents are as fascinating as the building. The ground floor traces Vietnam's ancient
history, from the first Neolithic finds through to those of the 15th century. Some items date back
as far as 10,000 BC and feature more than just the requisite pottery shards and axe heads. The
jeweler, tools and household items archaeologists have unearthed -- along with human and
animal remains -- paint a compelling picture of the people who inhabited the region long ago,
and provide a sense of how they are tied to Vietnam's modern inhabitants. There's also an
excellent selection of bronze drums dating back as far as 500 BC. Ancient military history is also
touched on. Corny dioramas of famous battles aside, some of the wooden spikes used by Tran
Hung Dao to skewer the Mongolian fleet in 1288 are on display.

The upstairs of the rotunda has a small though impressive collection of Champa pieces -- if you
missed the Champa Museum in Da Nang, now is your chance. The rest of the second floor goes
from the 15th century up to the 20th. Some familiar sights are here in terms of temple statuary
and pearl-inlay furniture, but the statue of Guan Yin -- the 'thousand armed, thousand eyed'
manifestation of the Bodhisattva -- is second only to the one in the Fine Arts Museum

Vietnam National Museum of Ethnology
This is the most recent yet probably the largest and undoubtedly the most interesting Museums in
Hanoi and Vietnam. The Museum comes out of the recognition that Vietnam is a multi - ethnic
country and that more attention should be paid to promote socio - cultural diversity. Despite
being out of the way compared with other museums in Hanoi, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology is
worth a thorough visit, for those who are keen to learn about the multiculturalists of Vietnam and
for those would appreciate some green apace.

There are indoors section while the in - housed exhibition is particularize, the outdoors display
and actives make the museum stand out from the rest. There is a number of house modeling after
the traditional architecture of ethnic minorities, especially those while live in Northern and
Central highlands

You will be blown away by the elaboration of these architectures, at the same time being
thoroughly need in traditional mages and activities such as water puppet show, calligraphy, stone
game (O An Quan). The museum is especially a great choice for those who cannot find time to
visit remote areas where live the majority of Vietnam ethnic minorities

Hue Museum of Royal Fine Arts
The Royal Fine Arts Museum has been relocated from nearby the citadel to a former royal
residence downtown known as Cung An Dinh or An Dinh Palace. It’s an impressive building
that was commissioned by Khai Dinh, Vietnam’s second last king in the early twentieth century.
It was almost totally ruined during its post 1975 life as the Hue Labour Union headquarters.

The museum is modest given its subject matter but it’s definitely worth a visit. It’s located in a
small structure in the grounds of the main palace and the collection includes pottery, porcelain
and costumes from the Nguyen Dynasty.
The main palace building has recently been restored as part of a German Government aid project
with the help of German specialists. It contains a number of large murals and other ornate wall

You can easily combine a visit here with a visit to the Tu Cung residence a couple of hundred
meters away westward along the canal. Information here is even scarcer than at most of Hue’s
historical sites but it seems both the last two queens lived here at different times during the
twentieth century. There are photos and other memorabilia of Vietnam’s final two imperial

Cham Museum in Danang
The Cham Museum in Danang is the largest collection of Cham sculpture and artwork in the
world. Whenever visiting the museum, you still perceive an individual atmosphere particular to
this place, the reverie of reminiscences.

Situated in a quiet area of Da Nang City, Cham Museum was built in 1915 according to the
motifs of ancient Cham Architecture. At first it was named the Henry Parmenties Museum. The
museum is officially known as the Museum of Champa Sculpture. The kingdom of Champa (or
Lin-yi in Chinese records) controlled what is now south and central Vietnam from approximately
192 through 1697. The empire began to decline in the late 15th century, became a Vietnamese
vassal state in 1697, and was finally dissolved in 1832. At present, the museum houses 297 stone
and terracotta sculptural works made between the 7th and the 15th centuries. These are
impressive works typical of the Cham culture.

According to Chinese chronicles, the Champa kingdom was founded in 192 A.D and had
different names such as Lin-Yi, Huang-Wang and Chang-Chen. Its territories stretched from
south of the Ngang Pass in Quang Binh Province to the delta area of the Dong Nai River in Binh
Thuan Province. It included the coastal plains, highland and mountain ranges.

Influenced by the early Hindu civilization, the Champa kingdom was a federation of several
smaller states called Mandala and comprised several ethnic groups.

The most important legacy of the Champa kingdom is located in Central Vietnam in the form of
brick temples and towers which are scattered over the coastal lowlands and highlands. The
structures date from between the 7th and 8th centuries to the 16th and 17th centuries and are
concentrated in Quang Nam, Danang, Binh Dinh, Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Binh Thuan.
The Cham Museum was built in Cham architectural style, using thin lines that are simple and
gentle. The museum displays an intensive and diverse collection of Champa sculpture dating
from the 7th to the 15th centuries, when a matriarchal society prevailed.

The museum was established at the end of the 19th century by the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme
Orient with a collection of artifacts gathered in central Vietnam, from Quang Binh to Binh Dinh.
They were then displayed at Le Jardin de Tourane on a small hill by the Han River. This is the
site of the present museum. The building was designed by two French architects, Delaval and
Auclair, in imitation of the most commonly used aspects of Champa towers and temples. At
present, the museum displays approximately 300 sandstone and terra-cotta sculptures, among
which some are made from terracotta. Most of the artifacts are masterpieces of Champa art and
some are considered to be equal to works anywhere in the world. The sculptures were collected
from Cham temples and towers throughout Central Vietnam, more specifically the area
stretching from Quang Binh to Binh Thuan. All the sculptures are displayed in ten showrooms
named after the localities where the pieces have been discovered.

After viewing the pieces in the showrooms, you can visit exterior exhibitions. The arts of the
Champa were chiefly sculpture, but the sculptures are only part of the religious architecture. The
temples and towers themselves are considered to be sculptural artifacts. They are decorated on
the exterior of their brick walls with bas-relief columns, flowers and leaves and worshipping
figures between brick pillars. The tympana, lintels and the ornamental corner pieces are of
sandstones carved with the figures of gods, the holy animals of the Hindus and flowers and

The artifacts displayed at the museum are altars, statues and decorative works collected from
Hindu and Buddhist temples and towers. Champa sculpture displays various styles. Sometimes
they were influenced by other cultures but no matter at what period or in what style the Champa
artifacts were made they always displayed original characteristics.

Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to appreciate the eight centuries of evolution of
Champa sculpture from its golden age to its decline. In their own way, the artifacts exemplify the
rise and fall of the Champa civilization. When we stand before these artistic masterpieces we can
comprehend the noblest ideal of art, the creation of the infinite from the finite. The eight
centuries of art at the Champa museum is a thick history book reflecting the ups and downs of
Champa art. From inanimate stones came living art, and from these wonderful invaluable
artifacts we can get the feeling that the warmth from the Champa artists' hand is still there, on the
fine skin of the stone-timeless.

The sculptures displayed here almost have the same drifting life as the very destiny of the once-
glorious culture that generated them. Through the ruins of time, war and even the oblivion, such
original Champa sculptures were hardly collected and brought here by many human generations.
And in this systematic collection, these works of the ancient Champa artists again have a new

Coming to visit the museum, it seems that you can see again the glorious time of the past of a
nation for whom both the passion for art and the creative talent were already at a very high level.
The mysterious world of deities, the pictorial legends, the religious symbols, the curving lines of
the bodies of dancing girls, the features of full swelling breasts, the smiles of a vague time, all of
these are shown very lively and in much in details.

The art of Champa, although influenced by the Hindu themes of India and Southeast Asia, has
many elements that make it distinctive. Temples in Champa were made of bricks. As a result,
artists did not have long expanses of wall to decorate with bas-reliefs depicting Hindu epics or
phases of Buddhist life as seen, for example, at Angkor Wat. The Chams incorporated their
sculptures into their temple architecture by carving them separately and making them part of the
construction. These carvings are classified into four main groups: Icons; Pedestals; Pediments;
Fragments of architectural decorations at the base or on various ties of the temple.

War Remnants Museum
War Remnants Museum, formerly known as Saigon’s Exhibition House of American War
Crimes, portrays the horrors and details of the Vietnam War. At present it is located within an
assemblage of warehouses. However its new building adjacent to its present location is under
construction. This museum standing near the city’s famous Reunification palace, with its halls
filled with gruesome photographs and a real guillotine, depicts some of the worst brutality that
happened during the Vietnam War.

For its graphic descriptions of napalm, photographs of victims and actual weapons, Agent
Orange and phosphorus bombs, it is the most crowded of all the museums in Ho Chi Minh City.
One room of this museum is devoted to the protest that went on across the globe during those
days of war. The disturbing displays of the museum depict the cruelties involved in the killing of
innocent civilians, torturing of prisoners, the spreading of poisonous defoliant and the effects of
the war in the north.

Tanks, bombs, planes, helicopters used during the Vietnam War are also kept in the Saigon’s
War Remnants Museum. Some rooms outside the museum exhibit cultural products, giving you
a glimpse of the Vietnamese culture. Since its inception more than six million people have
visited this famous museum in Saigon. Among its millions of visitors around one million are
foreign tourists.

This article written by Lanh Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel
For original article, please visit:
Vietnam Daily Tour

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