Vietnam National Museum of History is home to rich and diverse collections of historical relics and thematic exhibitions on Vietnamese culture and history. The museum gives visitors a broad overview of the development of Vietnam from the prehistoric period through the national formation period, a very thorough and comprehensive historical outlook that other museums cannot offer. Let explore this museum with AZ Local Trip.
Opened on September 26, 2011, the museum in French Quarter Hanoi is an integration of the former Vietnam History Museum and the Museum of Vietnamese Revolution. The two museums, one situated at No.1 Trang Tien Street and the other located at 216 Tran Quang Khai Street, make up an impressive architectural complex adjoining the Hanoi Opera House.
4,000 square meters in space, the museum is now housing over 200,000 objects and materials which are relics of Vietnamese history flowing from pre-history to present. Housed in a colonial French building which is a cupola-shaped edifice, the museum was designed as a combination of French and Chinese architecture. The building designed by Hebrard, an eminent French architect, and urban planner, incorporates double walls and balconies for a natural airing system and protection from sunshine.
The interior of the Vietnam National Museum of History
Located at No.1 Trang Tien Street (the former Vietnam History Museum), the first site is a well-structured historic building displaying collections relating to Vietnam’s history from the prehistoric period to the end of the Nguyen Dynasty in 1945. Originally the Louis Finot Museum, the museum building was designed as a major landmark of great architectural distinction, combining Eastern architectural elements in harmonious fusion with Western aesthetic features. The main permanent exhibition includes:
A painting of the Battle of Bach Dang in 1288 (Ngo - Dinh - Early Le Dynasty)
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Site Two is situated across the road at 216 Tran Quang Khai (former Museum of Vietnamese Revolution), and the ticket is valid for entry here too. Though generally less dazzling than site one located at Trang Tien Street, it is still interesting to spin through the rooms at this site, which include:
A return to form with the struggles against exterior forces at Site Two
The rooms covering Vietnam’s blossoming into the modern area intriguingly showcase industrially produced items such as carpets, tires, batteries and other items deemed necessary in a socialist utopia. It is a great overview for the tourists to discover the kind of government the Vietnamese live under and the military angle on history.
The King's Gold seal in Nguyen Dynasty
Visitors may have to use full imagination as well as sensitivity to understand artifacts and relics exhibited in the museum since the descriptions of objects are quite sparse and many of them are in Vietnamese.
Visitors can feel free to wear whatever comfortable and convenient but in a respectful and proper manner. Smoking, eating, making loud noises or touching objects and displays are not allowed in the museum. Since Site One on Trang Tien Street is bigger and covers a larger scope of history, it is recommended to spend more time at this site. A free English audio tour is available in this museum building but the table offering headsets is not obvious which the tourists should keep an eye out for.
Ancient ceramics used in Nguyen Kings' imperial palace
Regarding transportation, Vietnam National Museum of History is in walkable distance from Hoan Kiem Lake, about 10 minutes by walking. It only takes 5 minutes to get from Hoan Kiem Lake to the museum by car. There is a parking lot right outside the museum (Bãi Đá) on Tran Quang Khai Street which is very convenient.
The museum is located in the heart of Hanoi close to many sacred relics such as Turtle Tower – Hoan Kiem Lake; The Huc Bridge – Ngoc Son Temple – But Thap Tower where visitors can come by after visiting the museum.