National Museum Phnom Penh
Located on rue 13 in Phnom Penh, right next to the Royal Palace, the National Museum of Cambodia is the largest in the country. Configured in four large rooms opening onto a very beautiful verdant patio, this vast building testifies to the historial and artistic richness of the Khmer civilization through its collections and also represents a remarkable example of traditional architecture.
Your visit will not only give you the pleasure of admiring all the splendor and evolution of Khmer art, but it will also offer you a break of tranquility and freshness in the heart of the vibrant capital.
Visiting the National Museum of Cambodia
On one level and framing a patio of greenery, the museum’s exhibition galleries are spread over 2800 m2.
Sculptures and ethnographic objects inherited from the prehistoric (4th to 9th century), pre-Angkorian (9th to 10th century), Angkorian (10th to 14th century) and post-Angkorian (after the 14th century) eras constitute collections presented through 4 categories : stone, metal, wood and ceramics.
The bronzes are mostly Buddhist and Hindu deities as well as everyday objects. The coins are of different colors depending on the chemical composition of the materials used (gold, silver, copper, etc.)
The ceramics illustrate architectural decoration (tiles, patterns, etc.), religious worship (vases and statues) or everyday objects such as crockery with certain magnificent pieces of zoomorphic shapes.
Stone, wood and stucco reveal all the splendor of Khmer sculpture over the centuries. You will not be able to remain indifferent to pieces of great beauty inherited from the know-how and creativity of talented artists. Most of it is made up of free-standing works, most of which are lintels, pediments and bas-reliefs from temple walls. Religious mythology, historical facts or daily life are narrated there with a profusion of details and an incredible effect of movement.
The National Museum of Cambodia’s collection of Khmer sculptures spans more than a millennium and remains the finest in the world. The major works, although damaged, convey important values related to art, history and religion and reveal both Khmer identity and style. They also prove that the craftsmen were able to create a totally original art.
Among all these treasures, you will not fail to admire a superb sandstone statue of Shiva holding his wife Huma on his knees, a perfect illustration of the Banteay Srei style, considered in Southeast Asia as the pinnacle of art at the late 10th century. Other jewels: a Vishnu with eight arms of 1m93 and a statue of Harira dating from the 6th century, and especially a sculpture of Jayavarman VII from Angkor Thom, characterizing the Bayon period and the peak of Khmer sculpture, the late 12th to early 13th centuries.
During the visit, you will enjoy taking a break in the refreshing setting of the beautiful patio decorated with lush vegetation and lotus ponds.
Do not leave the National Museum of Cambodia without stopping at its shop where postcards, souvenirs, replica sculptures and art books are on offer. And if you’re peckish, take advantage of its charming café whose tables are protected by leafy elephants.
- Monday 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- Tuesday 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- Wednesday 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- Thursday 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- Friday 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- Saturday 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
- Sunday 8:00 AM - 11:30 AM1:30 PM - 5:00 PM