Cham museum boasts the largest exhibition of Cham sculpture in the world, the museum displays almost 300 terracotta and stone works of art ranging from the 7th to the 15th centuries.
The museum itself is also a fine example of Cham architecture with flowing simple lines, designed by the French architects Delaval and Auclair. Most of the artwork in the museum from this period takes the form of sculpture with a decidedly feminine feel and was gathered from Quang Binh up to Binh Dinh prior to the Cham Museum opening at the end of the 19th century.
In addition to the abundance of Hindu-influenced pieces there are also some that have evidently drawn inspiration from Buddhism including altars and deities. This range in religion reflects the eight centuries of Champa life from its start through to its height and then decline, with some of the more decadent pieces coming from the Champa golden age.
Good to Know
It is the only museum of its kind in the world dedicated to the Champa era and was founded during the colonial French rule in 1915. Other sites rich in Cham history include Tra Kieu, Dong Duong, Thap Man and My Son which were all famous Champa areas and are well worth a visit as part of a wider study into this fascinating period. There is an onsite shop selling imitation pieces and there are also English-language guidebooks for sale.