Ho Chi Minh City Museum is located at 65 Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, on a land area of nearly 2 hectares, limited by the streets of Ly Tu Trong, Pasteur, Le Thanh Ton, and Nam Ky Khoi Nghia. The museum is a large building displaying objects, pictures, and documents of history, culture, economic of Ho Chi Minh City as well as Vietnam. Museums have 10 rooms, each room displays a different thing.
Opening hours: 8:00 – 17:00
Address: 65 Ly Tu Trong Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, HCMC
Entrance fee: 30,000 VND
Car parking fee: 35,000 VND
Motorbike parking fee: 5,000 VND
The museum building was begun to build in 1885 and completed in 1890, according to the design of French architect Alfred Foulhoux. The purpose of the building was to be an Industry and Trade Museum, displaying products of Cochinchina. However, soon after construction was completed, the building was used as a residence by Vice Governor-General of French Indochina Henri Eloi Danel (1850-1898). Later, the building was used as a palace for Vice Governors-General of French Indochina, Cochinchina Governers and Vietnamese Prime Ministers.
In 1954, the building was named as Gia Long Palace by the Country Head Bao Dai. Ngo Dinh Diem stayed here temporarily when he was Prime Minister (1954). After the referendum in 1955, Ngo Dinh Diem used this building as the International Visitor Palace. On February 27, 1962, the Independence Palace was bombed, Ngo Dinh Diem moved the Presidential Palace here and stayed here until he was overthrown in November 1963.
During 1964-1965, the palace was used as the Country Head’s residence. On October 31, 1966, when the new Independence Palace was rebuilt, this building was used as the headquarters of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Vietnam until April 30, 1975.
After 1975, the building was not temporarily used for any specific purpose. On August 12, 1978, the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee decided to use this building as the Ho Chi Minh City Revolution Museum, and on December 13, 1999, it was renamed the Ho Chi Minh City Museum as today.
The total area of the building is more than 1,700 m², consisting of two floors of the main building and the horizontal building, designed in a classic – revival style, combining Europe – Asia: the floor of the floor has the Western features, but the roof has an Asian appearance. Surrounding the building is a flower garden campus shaped like a trapezoid, surrounded by the four major roads mentioned above.
Because the original purpose of the building is the Trade Museum exhibiting domestic products, in the past, on the two sides of the main gate had 2 pillars decorated with two statues of Goddess of Industry and Commerce. However, in 1943, Cochinchina Governor Ernest Thimothée Hoeffel removed two statues of the goddess to build a porch. At the tip of the triangular roof, the front face was decorated with a statue of a human head. The two sides adorned with embossed motifs such as willow branches, corolla leaves surrounded, circling snake, the image of a chicken symbolizing the day and an owl symbolizing the night at the corners.
Many other motifs on the roof are a combination of Greek mythological icons and tropical plants and animals such as lizard motifs and high leg birds moving by curving or spreading the wings.
On February 27, 1962, Norodom palace (ie Independence Palace) was bombed by the coup forces, President Ngo Dinh Diem moved to Gia Long Palace and built a secret tunnel in the palace. According to the archives, the tunnel was built from May 1962 to October 1963 and was completed, with a total of VND 12,514,114 at that time, and according to the design of architect Ngo Viet Thu, a famous Vietnamese architect.
Artifacts are displayed in 10 rooms:
Natural and Archaeological Room
Introducing geographical location, geology, minerals, topography, climate, animals, plants, river system, life of ancient inhabitants 3000 – 2000 years ago with working tools: stone ax, stone hoe, jewelry, weapons, burial forms found in the archaeological sites of Ben Do and Go Sao, Rieng Bang, Go Cat, Giong Ca Vo, Giong Phet, Giong Am, relics in the inner city of Ho Chi Minh City.
Geography and Administration Room of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
With a collection of maps, charts, pictures, artifacts, exhibit room shows the process of formation and development of Saigon of geography and administration. From a city planned for 50,000 people to present, the city has over 6 million people. Ancient maps created from the previous centuries show that rivers are a basic element of city structure. Currently, that river system is replaced by avenues (Ham Nghi road, Nguyen Hue road …).
The room of Commerce and Services
With more than 527 artifacts, 36 photos and 10 maps, the gallery presents an overview of Saigon’s economic center role in the southern region in particular and the country in general through the issues: Saigon Port, Ben Thanh Market and old markets, old Chinese shops, ancient measurement objects, bus stations, train stations, airports.
Industry and Handicraft Industry Room
The room introduces some traditional handicraft industries in Saigon from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. With nearly 300 artifacts and pictures on ceramics making and bronze casting occupations, jewelry making, weaving, wood carving … Some of the first industrial facilities of the city in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, industrial parks in the period 1954 – 1975, high-tech parks today.
Saigon Cultural Room
Introducing the customs, beliefs, arts and education of Saigon, The gallery depicts traditional weddings of four ethnic groups of Vietnamese, Cham, Hoa, and Khmer, betel eating custom, worship of Mother Goddess, Thanh Hoang, Tho Dia, Tai God, collection of musical instruments, costumes, props and pictures of some famous reformed plays of reformed theater, traditional theatrical arts of Khmer ethnic people. Especially, the gallery also introduces materials about education in Saigon, where the Vietnamese national script is spread and the newspaper is published in Vietnam firstly.
The Room of Revolutionary Struggle 1930 – 1954
The gallery shows documents and pictures of the political struggles since the Communist Party of Vietnam. In addition, the room also shows document and pictures of the Independence Day in Ba Dinh Square, Hanoi, September 2, 1945, and the 9-year resistance war.
The Room of Revolutionary Struggle 1954 – 1975
Displaying the issues: Geneva Conference on the end of the war in Indochina on July 21, 1954, Dong Khoi Movement started in 1960, Cu Chi Tunnels, the birth of the National Front liberated South Vietnam on December 20, 1960, the Tet Mau Than Attack (1968), the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam established on June 6, 1969, the Paris Conference on January 27, 1973, Operation Ho Chi Minh (1975), The struggle movement of countries in the world to support the people of Vietnam.
The Room of Resistance Souvenirs
Displaying artifacts accompanying the life and fighting of cadres, soldiers and martyrs in 30 years of resistance, including artifacts groups: Relics of Gia Dinh Regiment’s reconnaissance martyrs , artifacts of front-line culture, personal equipment of Truong Son soldiers, cameras, camcorders of battlefield journalists, memorabilia in prison of revolutionary soldiers, Hoang Cam kitchen model
Vietnamese Money Room
The gallery Introduces 1,086 artifacts, including coins and banknotes through Vietnamese historical periods. In addition, there are pictures of money casting stages in feudal time, some documents related to money.
In addition to the 9 rooms mentioned above, there is also a specialized room, and the area outside the building where several types of aircraft, vehicles, weapons are displayed.
Read more about Top 12 museums in Ho Chi Minh City
Photos of Ho Chi Minh City Museum
Human-powered vehicle in French colonial era 2 Ho Chi Minh City Museum
A Vietnamese cannon in Nguyen Dynasty – Ho Chi Minh City Museum
An old car since French colonial era – Ho Chi Minh City Museum
The front of Ho Chi Minh City Museum
A shoe repairer in French colonial era – Ho Chi Minh City Museum
A potter in French colonial era – Ho Chi Minh City Museum
A jeweler in French colonial era – Ho Chi Minh City Museum
A gas vendor in French colonial era – Ho Chi Minh City Museum