No. 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District I, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Located next to Botanical Garden, Museum of Vietnamese History is situated at No. 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District I, Ho Chi Minh City. It is home to conserve and display tens of thousands of precious artifacts collected at home and abroad on anthropology, archeology and ethnology. Museum of Vietnamese History is also one of the first largest museums in Ho Chi Minh City. With the abundant artifacts on display in museum, Vietnam history Museum is a worth one of the most appealing tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City alluring numerous domestic and foreign tourists.
Museum of Vietnamese History was formerly Museum of Blanchard de la Brosse, which was built in 1927 by the French in the area of Saigon Botanical Gardens bringing the appearance of Summer Palace in Beijing. In 1956, Saigon Government renamed the museum into National Museum primarily exhibiting fine arts in Vietnam, Champa, Khmer, China, Japan and other ethnic minorities in Vietnam. National Museum was renamed into Ho Chi Minh City History Museum on 26th August 1979. It was then changed its name into Museum of Vietnamese History - Ho Chi Minh City and has existed so far. Discovering Vietnam History Museum is definitely one of the most impressive things to do in Ho Chi Minh City.
Museum of Vietnamese History was built and designed by Delaval, a French architect. Unlike other museums in Ho Chi Minh City, the middle of the building retains an octagon block with 2 pipe-shaped roof tiles and stylized phoenix and dragon-shaped decorative objects. On top of the roof is 4 spheres superimposed each other. The museum is inspired numerous elements of ancient Chinese architecture. That thus increasingly retains powerful attraction for tourists who prefer to explore the unique architectural features when participating in Saigon travel. In 1970, the museum built an additional home fleet under the design of architect Nguyen Ba Lang. The home fleet own its U-shape with opencast ornamental lake in the middle, 2 blocks in both sides and row of three-story home fleet with 2 layers of roof mounted dragon head in the corner of the roofs. Thanks to the entrances overlooking the lake, the gallery is relatively bright and airy.
The museum initially only owned 2,893 antiques (mostly from Holbe collection). It today remains a collection with its great values including 32,000 artworks from Vietnam and some other Asian countries. The exhibiting content of the museum is unique compared to other Ho Chi Minh City museums, which consists of two sections. Section I is 15 galleries of artifacts and antiques of Vietnamese prehistory and history from primitive period to 1930 over the periods and dynasties. Section II presents topics characterizing South region such as Oc Eo culture, Mekong Delta ancient culture, Champa art, Ben Nghe - Saigon, ethnic groups in Vietnam and culture of some Asian countries.
Apart from exhibiting galleries, the museum also maintains a storage system of a large number of artifacts with diverse types. The museum houses a collection of wooden statues of Guan Yin in Vietnam with many different postures. The collection consisting of 11 statues has been recovered and transferred to the museum for years by authorities in Ho Chi Minh City. Although the number of statues of this type is not too many, it displays particular characteristics on the traditional sculpting style of Vietnamese people. It is the unique feature that has brought the museum to become one of the most tourist Ho Chi Minh City attractions alluring tourists.
Vietnam History Museum is the largest museum and also the first one in the city. Thanks to constantly collecting and preserving artifacts over times, Museum of Vietnamese History has stored and preserved a collection of extremely diverse artifacts. With its historical significance and critical role in the development of the city, Vietnam History Museum deserves an indispensable tourist site in Ho Chi Minh travel; simultaneously, it significantly contributes to promote Ho Chi Minh City tourism closer to both domestic and international tourists.