The Cham Museum

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The Cham museum

Situated in a quiet area of Da Nang City, Cham Museum was built in 1915 according to the motifs of ancient Cham Architecture. At first it was named the Henry Parmenties Museum. The museum is officially known as the Museum of Champa Sculpture. The kingdom of Champa (or Lin-yi in Chinese records) controlled what is now south and central Vietnam from approximately 192 through 1697. The empire began to decline in the late 15th century, became a Vietnamese vassal state in 1697, and was finally dissolved in 1832. At present, the museum houses 297 stone and terracotta sculptural works made between the 7th and the 15th centuries. These are impressive works typical of the Cham culture.

The Cham museum

 

The Cham Museum was built in Cham architectural style, using thin lines that are simple and gentle. The museum displays an intensive and diverse collection of Champa sculpture dating from the 7th to the 15th centuries, when a matriarchal society prevailed. vietnam tourist

The museum was established at the end of the 19th century by the Ecole Francaise d’Extreme Orient with a collection of artifacts gathered in central Vietnam, from Quang Binh to Binh Dinh. They were then displayed at Le Jardin de Tourane on a small hill by the Han River. This is the site of the present museum. The building was designed by two French architects, Delaval and Auclair, in imitation of the most commonly used aspects of Champa towers and temples. At present, the museum displays approximately 300 sandstone and terra-cotta sculptures, among which some are made from terracotta. Most of the artifacts are masterpieces of Champa art and some are considered to be equal to works anywhere in the world. The sculptures were collected from Cham temples and towers throughout Central Vietnam, more specifically the area stretching from Quang Binh to Binh Thuan. All the sculptures are displayed in ten showrooms named after the localities where the pieces have been discovered.

The art of Champa, although influenced by the Hindu themes of India and Southeast Asia, has many elements that make it distinctive. Temples in Champa were made of bricks. As a result, artists did not have long expanses of wall to decorate with bas-reliefs depicting Hindu epics or phases of Buddhist life as seen, for example, at Angkor Wat.