National Museum of Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

National Museum of Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

The National Museum of Cambodia is one of the world’s greatest collections of Khmer cultural artefacts including sculpture, ceramics and ethnographic objects from the prehistoric, pre-Angkorian, Angkorian and post-Angkorian periods. It is a remarkable journey through the history of the Mekong Delta containing nearly a millennium of the masterful craftsmanship of the Khmer Empire.

The National Museum of Cambodia is home to approximately 12,320 items from prehistoric times to period before, during and after the Khmer Empire. With such a length period of time, the collections in the interior of the museum are surprisingly plentiful and diverse, including sculpture, ceramics, statues and ethnographic objects. Besides acting as a national exhibition of Khmer culture to promote awareness, understanding and appreciation of Cambodia’s heritage via presentation, conservation and acquisition of Cambodian cultural materials, the museum also aims to educate and inspire its visitors.

Its exhibits comprising bronze/wood sculptures, ceramic items, ethnographic items and stone articles are categorized into four brackets: prehistoric, pre-Angkor, Angkor and post-Angkor exhibits. One of its most spectacular exhibits is the eight-armed statue of Lord Vishnu that dates back to the 6th century. Another remarkable attraction is the image of King Jayavarman VII in a meditation posture that can be seen in the West Gallery displaying art works from Angkor Wat.

Visit the museum’s Bronze Gallery to take a peep into bronze-casting methods practiced during the Angkorian period from the 6th to 13th centuries. Found next to the Bronze Gallery is a rare repository of post-Angkorian era Buddha images. There is also a gallery that exhibits a selection of sandstone sculptures dating back to the 6th century.

Visiting the museum after rather than before a trip to the Angkor in Siem Reap helps lend context to the Angkorian artifacts.

Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Address: 13th Street, Between 178th and 184th Street, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
More information:
Opening hours: 8am-5pm
Entrance fee: US$5

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