Hue's Royal Antiquities Museum
Hue's Royal Antiquities Museum was recently relocated to a newly renovated palace at its previous address by the citadel. It may be the best available collection of ornaments from dynastic times but it's a disappointment.

Hue Royal Antiquities Museum is located inside Long An palace. This is the earliest museum established in Hue with the first name 'Musee' Khai Dinh'. Precinct of museum has an area of 6.330m2; the main zone is in the middle of museum with an area of 1.185 m2 and storage, garden… Long An is situated in Bao Dinh palace established in 1845 Bac Ngu Ha. It is the place that Thieu Tri (1841-1847) accommodated and relaxed.

The building is erected by 128 ironwood columns. The front part has 7 compartment with 8 beams sculptured in dragons. The precious items in the museum mostly have a date back Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945) and 17 collections in total.

On August 24, 1923 King Khai Dinh (1916-1925) issued a decree on establishing the Khai Dinh Museum, the forerunner of the present-day Hue Royal Antiquities Museum. The purpose of setting up the museum was defined clearly, i.e. talents of a nation are reflected through the fine arts works that describe social activities, rituals, political and daily events… 

From the very beginning of its existence, the museum was entrusted with the duty, “to revive generations of artisans who had built up the glorified Hue royal court.”

Hue Royal Antiquities Museum, now under the administration of the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, has preserved and displayed nearly 10,000 antiquities relating to the life during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). The main showroom is Long An Palace, which is considered one of Vietnam’s most beautiful, existing palaces.

Long An Palace is located on an area of 6,330m², its main showroom for the antiquities is 1,200m². There are 16 typical collections of items displayed inside and outside the Palace, including many of Vietnam’s precious handicraft fine arts objects such as Hue enamelled bronze wares, sets of gold tree branches and jade leaves, sets of wooden articles inlaid with mother-of-pearl or painted with red lacquer trimmed with gold, and copper antiquities made by Hue artisans. Long An Palace was built under the time of King Thieu Tri (1841-1847). It consists of seven compartments and two annexes plus 128 pillars made of precious timbers. The entire wooden parts are carved with beautiful scenes, the four sacred animals (dragon, lion, tortoise and phoenix) and more than 1,000 poems in Chinese scripts. Among them, there are two poems composed by King Thieu Tri, each having 56 words and engraved in the shape of the eight-sign figure that turns into 64 different seven- and five-word verses. 

Long An Palace is a valuable museum, which displays poetic and painting works, a collection of literary pieces, historical references and stories, thoughts of nature and rules laid out by King Minh Mang (1820-1840), King Thieu Tri (1841-1847) and King Tu Duc (1847-1883). The Palace is a wonderful combination of architecture, poems and paintings that are reflected clearly through the carvings on wood. The art works and utensils of the Nguyen kings and royal families were made by skilful Vietnamese artisans with such materials as gold, silver, jade, ivory, glass, stone, wood, leather, fabrics, paper, bamboo, rattan and terra cotta. In addition, 80 objects of the Cham ethnic people found in 1927 in O and Ly areas and Tra Kieu ancient capital are considered valuable objects of the Far East and the world over. In the palace, there is a folding screen painted by painters of the Indochina College of Fine Arts 70 years ago. It was engraved and painted with pictures of 78 Hue women wearing the Ao Dai with different designs and colours. Outside the palace, there are on display a collection of 30 cannons of different types made in the Nguyen Dynasty and previous time. Besides cannons, in the court yard there is a collection of stone statues and stelae made in the Le Dynasty (1428-1527, 1533-1788) and the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945). The most significant collection is that of large bronze bells, cauldrons, urns and pots.

When visiting Hue Royal Antiquities Museum, visitors will have a chance to enjoy the masterpieces made by Hue artisans over 700 years of development in the imperial city of Phu Xuan – Hue.

Travel tips

Right by the citadel. Remember that taking pictures or bringing cameras into the museum is not allowed.

Address
No. 3 Le Truc street, Hue city, Vietnam

Telephone
+84 234 3524 429

More information
https://www.facebook.com/Hue-Museum-of-Royal-Antiquities, http://huedisan.com.vn

Prices
Entrance fee: 50,000 VND

Opening hours
Summer: 6.30 am - 5.30 pm Winter: 7.00 am - 5.00 pm. Closed Mondays.

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