Vietnam History Museum in Saigon

Thousands of archaeology, anthropology, and ethnology objects acquired in Vietnam and abroad are housed at the Vietnam History Museum in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Through exhibitions of diverse centuries, dynasties, and ancient cultures, the museum also provides an insight into the country's violent past. The Museum of Vietnamese History, with its extensive collection of relics, is a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors.

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Vietnam History Museum's Foundation in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Blanchard de la Brosse Museum, which served as the headquarters of the Association of Indochinese Studies and was administered by the French School of the Far East, formed the foundation for the Vietnam History Museum. Initially, the museum included relics from Asian countries such as China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Khmer, and Champa that were relevant to their culture and early civilization. The guided tour has been popular since 1959, attracting visitors from all around Saigon to the museum to enjoy the institution's cultural preservation efforts.

Following Vietnam's independence in 1975, the Vietnamese government acquired control of the property and converted it into a museum dedicated to the country's history. The Museum of Vietnam History first opened its doors to the public in 1981, and it was renamed the Museum of Vietnam History in Ho Chi Minh City six years later. Since then, the museum's exhibitions have been mostly focused on Vietnam's history and ancient civilization, with just a few exhibits from other Asian countries.

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Vietnam History Museum's Architecture in Ho Chi Minh City

A French architect, Delaval, designed the Museum of Vietnam History in Ho Chi Minh City. The main structure remains an octagon block with two layers of pipe-shaped tiles and stylized phoenix and dragon-shaped decorative elements, making it a distinctive architectural feature in the city. On top of the roof, four spheres are superimposed one on top of the other. The museum, which was inspired by many parts of old Chinese architecture, has long been a favorite of tourists who want to see the unique structural features while in Saigon. A second structure, built in 1970, produced a U-shape with two blocks on each side.

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What to See at the Vietnam History Museum in Ho Chi Minh City

Inside the museum, a collection of 32,000 high-value artworks from Vietnam and other Asian countries is chronologically organized. There are two sections to the show topic. Section 1 contains 15 galleries of artifacts and antiquities spanning the periods and dynasties from the prehistoric era to 1930. Section 2 covers subjects such as Oc Eo culture, old Mekong Delta culture, Champa art, Ben Nghe – Saigon, ethnic groups in Vietnam, and the culture of various Asian countries. Every exhibition is worth seeing, but due to the museum's large number of sections, we've only listed a few highlights.

Water Puppet Show

You can see a water puppet play, which is a typical Vietnamese art performance, in addition to learning about Vietnamese history and culture through spectacular exhibitions. Vietnamese folktales are told through lovely puppets, weaving on water. Puppet controllers stand behind the curtain throughout the performance and control the puppets. At the conclusion of the presentation, you will have the opportunity to observe the master perform a stunning piece of art. This presentation is about 25 minutes long, and there is a small narrative in it, so don't be concerned.

Prehistoric Period: Stone Age

This section contains interesting artifacts and information panels from Vietnam's Stone Age period, which lasted a hundred thousand years before 2879 B.C. Large sculptures created and used by prehistoric men can also be found.

Chinese Supremacy

Vietnam was occupied by neighboring China from 179 BC until 938 AD. This was also the period when Chinese culture had the greatest influence on Vietnamese culture. Ancient photographs of Hai Ba Trung and Ba Trieu can be found in this section (the three heroines in the early ages of Vietnam history). A miniature bronze drum and a replica of a traditional dwelling in Northern Vietnam are also on display from this time period.

The Dynasties of Tran and Ho

From the 13th through the 15th centuries, the Tran and Ho dynasties dominated the kingdom. This large exhibition room features a large painting of the Battle of Bach Dang in 1288, as well as a copy of the battle's wooden stilts. In the following chamber, you'll find maps of conflicts with the Yuan Dynasty, as well as a famous quotation by Tran Posted Dao, a great general in Vietnamese history, hung on the walls.

Champa Culture

Vietnam's geographical territory was solely limited to the northern half of the country until it was formed into the S shape it is now. Central Vietnam was the home of the Country of Champa, a historic Indochina kingdom heavily influenced by Hindu culture until the 17th century. In comparison to the Cham Sculpture Museum in Da Nang, the Vietnam History Museum boasts a bigger collection of Champa art. Here are presented a variety of stoneware and earthenware statues of Buddha, Bodhisattva, Siva, and other deities.

The Nguyen Dynasty

The Tay Son dynasty fell apart due to rivalry among the Tay Son brothers, and Vietnam was controlled by the Nguyen Dynasty for another decade, until 1945. You will be able to see the names and reign times of 13 Nguyen Dynasty monarchs, including Gia Long (the first emperor) and Bao Dai (the last emperor of Nguyen Dynasty). Other objects at the museum, such as ceramics, a lacquered wood platform bed, ivory seals, King, Prince, and Queen needlework clothing, and Vietnamese musical instruments, recount the story.

Address of Vietnam History Museum in Saigon: 02 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

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