Co Loa Citadel



National Museum of Vietnamese History

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Originally known as the École Française d’Extrême-Orient, this museum was built in 1925. Designed by Ernest Hébrard, it heralded a new hybrid style of architecture – Indochinoise – incorporating several elements of French, Khmer, and Vietnamese styles. Anchored by an octagonal pagoda, the building is painted ochre-yellow, and offset by dark green shutters. And although it is ornamented with fanciful colonnades, brackets, and balustrades, the overall effect is Oriental. Known in Vietnamese as Bao Tang Lich Su, the museum is one of the best in Vietnam. It is spread over two floors and features a fine  collection of arti- facts from the  prehistoric Dong Son culture of the Red River Delta, as well as the ancient Sa Huynh and Oc Eo civilizations of southern Vietnam. The museum also has sculptures dating from the Champa Empire. Some of the exhibits include wood en stakes from the 13th-century Battle of Bach Dang. The park behind the museum has a garden with statues of Cham goddesses and Khmer lions, and Vietnamese-style dragons.

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