The home to Vietnam’s national treasures

The National History Museum in Hanoi contains 16 out of a total of 104 national treasures of Vietnam.

The boat-shaped tomb of Viet Khe, made of wood and brass, 476 cm long, 77 cm wide, 60 cm thick, 39 cm deep. The tomb was discovered at a construction site in Viet Khe, Phu Ninh commune of Thuy Nguyen district, Hai Phong city in 1961. It dates back to the Dong Son culture of 2,500 years ago. It is a kind of coffin made from a tree trunk. The boat grave contains 107 rare items of the Dong Son culture, such as axes, spears, swords, vases, ladles, bronze bells...

The Ngoc Lu drum is cast of bronze, with diameter of 79.3 cm, 63 cm high, dating back 2000-2500 years ago, under the Dong Son culture. The drumhead is cast with a star with 14 points and 16 motifs from the center. The drum-barrel is decorated with patterns like boats, people, birds ... Of the thousands of bronze drums discovered in Vietnam, the Ngoc Lu drum is the most typical kind of the Dong Son culture. In daily life, the bronze drum was both a musical instrument and a symbol of power of the ruling class in the Hung King age.

Like the Ngoc Lu bronze drum, which represents the pinnacle of the art of bronze casting of Vietnamese people in the early time of the nation is the Hoang Ha bronze drum. The drum has a face diameter of 78.5 cm, 61.5 cm high. In the middle of the drumhead is a 16-point star and 6 circles of patterns, 5 warships moving from left to right, with the militants carrying weapons, killing prisoners...

The Dao Thinh bronze jar of 98 cm tall, dating back to 2000-2500 ago, also belongs to the Dong Son Civilization. The cylindrical jar is decorated with the sun pattern in the middle, surrounded by 11 circles of motifs. On the lid are four pairs of statues, featuring couples having sex (currently only 2 couples exist). The Dao Thinh bronze jar is the message of the past for future generations about the material life and aspirations and the proliferation of humans and things of wet rice agriculture. In addition to the Dong Son bronze drum, the Dao Thinh bronze jar is the largest size of artifacts ever unearthed in Vietnam. 

The statue of two people carrying each other on the back, belonging to the Dong Son culture, dating back to 2000-2500 years ago. The person on the back holds the carrier with one hand and the other hand holds a pan-pipe. This is a rare antique of the art of statue of of Dong Son period, which vividly reflects an aspect of a developed society, especially music.

The kneeling-man shaped lamp is 40 cm high, 27 cm wide, weighing 1.9 kg, dating back to 1700-2000 years ago. The lamp was discovered in a tomb in Lach Truong, Thanh Hoa Province. The lamb is in the shape of a half-nude man who kneels and raises the lamp with his hands. He wears a crown. On his thighs and behind him are the four kneeling musicians. This is the largest lamp of the same type, showing casting techniques and aesthetic sense of the ancient inhabitants of the post-Dong Son culture.

The Vo Canh stone stele is the oldest stele of the ancient Kingdom of Champa left in Vietnam. The stele is engraved with ancient Sanskrit letters, with valuable information. The stele was made in the 2nd – 3rd centuries, under the Champa culture. The epigraphy carved on the stele is the oldest in Southeast Asia, 3 faces with Sanskrit inscriptions.

The bronze bell named Van Ban, 127 cm high, 80 cm diameter, dating back to the 13th – 14th centuries under the Tran Dynasty. It is decorated by the double lotus petals. The bell handles are two dragons turning back to back, the top of the handles are created by the lotus. The bell was found in the waters of Do Son (Hai Phong) in 1958. This is an exclusive antique, related to the Van Ban Pagoda, Tuong Long tower in Do Son, which is valuable for the study of history, titles and Buddhism in the Tran Dynasty.

The Mon Ha Sanh bronze seal, cast in 1377 under the reign of King Tran Due Tong. The seal was used on important administrative documents of the court from the Tran Phe De Dynasty and the later.

The blue and white ceramic vase decorated with a swan motif of 56.5 cm high, dating back to the early Le Dynasty (15th – 16th centuries). The decorative patterns on the vase are the typical patterns of the northern plains reflecting the peak of ceramic art of the early Le Dynasty. The vase was produced in Chu Dau pottery village (now in Nam Sach district, Hai Duong province) - one of the largest ceramic production centers of the country at that time. The vase was found in a shipwreck in Cu Lao Cham (1999-2000).

The stele of the Nam Giao Esplanade is one of the most valuable relics of the Nam Giao Esplanade. The stele was built in 1679. The stele revealed historical significance and the construction process of the Esplanade where the King and mandarins performed the great ceremony to pray for peace and prosperity for the country.

The Canh Thinh bronze drum with a diameter of 49 cm, 37.4 cm high was cast in 1800, under the Tay Son Dynasty. This is a unique ancient drum in Vietnam that simulated the traditional leather drum of Vietnam. The scripts on the drum is about Ms. Nguyen Thi Loc, the wife of a mandarin under King Le The Tong (1736) who contributed to building the Linh Ung Pagoda. 

The Sac Menh Chi Bao seal was cast in 1827 under the reign of Emperor Minh Mang. This is an exclusive item, the symbol of imperial power. It is made of pure gold, with sophisticated patterns.

The book “Duong Kach Menh” (Revolutionary Path) by Nguyen Ai Quoc - Ho Chi Minh City, with 100 pages, published in Guangzhou (China) in 1927. The book consists of lectures by Nguyen Ai Quoc in 1925-1927.

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The “Diary in Prison” of 79 pages of President Ho Chi Minh. The poetic diary was written by President Ho Chi Minh in prison in Guangxi (China) from 8/1942 to 9/1943.  


Of the 16 national treasures at the museum, 12 artifacts are on permanent display.


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