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Mỹ Sơn
Thánh địa Mỹ Sơn
My Son (VNAT)
Street address: Xã Duy Phú, Huyện Duy Xuyên, Tỉnh Quảng Nam, Việt Nam
Mailing address: Văn phòng Bảo tồn Di tích Lịch sử, Thánh Địa Mỹ Sơn, Xã Duy Tân, Huyện Duy Xuyên, Tỉnh Quảng Nam, Việt Nam
Telephone: 84 (0) 510 731757
Fax: 84 (0) 510 731361
Contact: Nguyễn Công Hường Manager
Telephone: 84 (0) 510 877681, 84 (0) 91 348 0711 (mobile)
Opening hours: 6.30am-4.30pm daily
Located in a valley some 10 kilometres from Trà Kiệu Citadel (Simhapura) and 68 kilometres from Đà Nẵng, Mỹ Sơn is Việt Nam’s most important Chăm temple complex. Often compared to South East Asia’s other major temple complexes such as Angkor Wat, Borobudur, Pagan and Ayutthaya, Mỹ Sơn was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999. The stone towers and sanctuaries remaining today date from the 7th to the 14th centuries, but excavations have shown that Chăm kings were buried here as early as the 4th century and the site – which at its height comprised over 70 monuments – is known to have served as the intellectual and religious centre of Champa during the centuries when its political capital was at Trà Kiệu. French archaeologists divided Mỹ Sơn’s monuments into 10 major groups, lettered A, A', B, C, D, E, F, G, H and K, giving each structure a name consisting of a letter followed by a number. Architecturally, the Chăm towers at Mỹ Sơn represent the convergence of a various different styles, ranging from ancient or Mỹ Sơn E1 style (8th century, Mỹ Sơn E1 and F1), Hòa Lai style (late 8th-early 9th centuries, Mỹ Sơn A2, C7 and F3), Đồng Dương style (late 9th-early 10th centuries, Mỹ Sơn A10, A11-13, B4, B12), Mỹ Sơn A1 style (10th century, Mỹ Sơn B5, B6, B7, B9, C1, C2, C5, D1, D2, D4), transitional Mỹ Sơn A1-Bình Định style (early 11th-mid 12th centuries, Mỹ Sơn E4, F2, group K) and Bình Định style (late 11th-early 14th centuries, Mỹ Sơn B1 and groups G, H). Regrettably many of the monuments (including the A complex with its once magnificent A1 Tower) were destroyed during the American War. Most of the temples in the centrally-located groups B, C and D remain, and although many statues, altars and linga were taken to France during the colonial period or removed more recently to the Việt Nam History Museum, Hồ Chí Minh City and the Chăm Sculpture Museum in Đà Nẵng, a temporary site museum has been created in two temple buildings with German and Polish assistance to house the remaining artefacts. At the time of writing a purpose-designed US$2 million site museum funded by the Japanese government is being constructed by Quảng Nam provincial authorities at the ticket sales and site office area one kilometre east of the site. There is currently much concern about the condition of the monuments, several of which are believed to be in imminent danger of collapse. Between 2002 and 2004 the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism spent nearly 7 billion VNĐ (cUS$ 440,000) on emergency restoration projects at Mỹ Sơn, which attracted some 97,000 foreign and domestic tourists in 2002; a UNESCO project funded by the Italian government to the tune of US$ 800,000 and a Japanese-funded restoration effort are currently aiming to stem the decline in the monuments' physical condition. Renovation work at the complex is also being funded by the World Monuments Fund (WMF).
Related links: Champa
 Culture360 culturebase
The Việt Nam Cultural Profile was created in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) of Việt Nam with financial support from the Rockefeller Foundation
Date updated: 11 March 2008
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