Built between 1925 and 1932, this architecturally impressive museum was formerly home to the École Française d’Extrême Orient. Its architect, Ernest Hebrard, was among the first in Vietnam to incorporate a blend of Chinese and French design elements.
National Museum of Vietnamese History
Exhibit highlights include bronzes from the Dong Son culture (3rd century BC to 3rd century AD), Hindu statuary from the Khmer and Champa kingdoms, jewellery from imperial Vietnam, and displays relating to the French occupation and the Communist Party.
The museum is housed in a colonial French building which is a cupola shaped edifice which appears like a Pagoda. The design of the building is an amalgamation of French and Chinese architecture known as Indochina architecture. The building designed by Hebrard incorporates double walls and balconies for a natural ventilation system and protection from sunshine.
The features of the museum
The exhibition area is more than 2,200 square metres (24,000 sq ft) with exhibits arranged chronologically. It is divided into five major sections: Section 1 covers period from the prehistoric period from the Stone Age (30,000–40,000 years ) to 4,000–5,000 years ago; Section 2 has displays from the time of national building during the Tran Dynasty; Section 3 has exhibits from the period of the Ho Dynasty to the August 1945 Revolution; and Section 4 has artifacts of the Champa stone sculptures.
The museum showcases Vietnam’s history with very large collection of about 200,000 items, covering the Neolothic age, Bronze age, Sa Hunh, Oc Eo, and Hung periods, Ngyyen dynasty, Cham period, and also northern Vietnam’s Dong Son, a culture which existed about 1000 BC-100 AD.These period exhibits are in the main building. The exhibits highlight communism and depict the rule of the French colonists as cruel.