Ratchaburi National Museum is located Mueang district of Ratchaburi province, near the clock tower and the Maeklong river on Woradet Road, about 105km southwest of Bangkok. The building is the previous building of Ratchaburi’s city hall, built in 1922 with an inspiration from Western architectural style in the reign of King Rama VI. It was renovated by the Fine Arts Department to become the National Museum in 1988 until in 1991 that the museum had an official opening ceremony presided by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. Ratchaburi National Museum displays art and ancient items of different periods found in the local area, and exhibits the history of Ratchaburi.
The highlights of The museum.
Ratchaburi National Museum exhibiting history and changes in each period of time of Ratchaburi province. This place displays history, archeology, ethnology, ancient artifacts, geology, daily utensils. Especially, the local culture of life of each group of people who are living in Ratchaburi such as Lao Song, Karens and Tai-Yuan.
The highlight of Ratchaburi museum is Rediating Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is one of five statues that has found Thailand in a very good condition, a statue of an eight-arms made of sandstone in the reign of King Jayavarman 7. However, only the torso was founded; the head, hands and feet were lost. This statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara was similar to the one discovered at Prasat Muang Singha, Sai Yok district, Kanchanaburi province.
The exhibitions inside the Museum
The exhibitions displays detailing the history of Ratchaburi, from the stone age through to modern days.
The museum have been divided into 5 categories:
- First categories: Geography and natural history of Ratchaburi.
- Second categories: History and archeaology of Ratchaburi displayed in chronological order since Prehistoric Era. Apart from Pra Saeng Ratcha Sarstra (The royal sword of Ratchaburi prefecture) of Ratchaburi province, this exhibition also include the statue of Rediating Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
- Third categories: Ethnology of Ratchaburi. The story of variety people in nationalities and ethnics living in Ratchaburi.
- Fourth categories: Outstanding heritages.
- Fifth categories: Ratchaburi Today is an exhibition on Ratchaburi province nowadays in various aspects.
The 5 categories has been divided into 10 rooms:
- First rooms (Geology): Geography and mineralogical natural resources such as soil, rock, mineral and the topography of Ratchaburi and surrounding areas like Phetchaburi and Kanchanaburi. There are also displays the examples fossils, rocks, gems and utilization of natural resources.
- Second rooms (Pre-history): Traces of early humans evidence who settlers are located in Ratchaburi province. This evidence was excavated at Ban Khok Phlap, with stone implements and pottery. Reflecting the lives and relationship with the external community, all the lands nearby and far away lands(China, India, and etc.)
- Third rooms (Dvaravati): Ratchaburi during 6th-10th centuries AD. Archaeological evidence of the development of Dvaravati style especially in the ancient town of Ban Khu Bua and Khao Ngu is located Muang District of Ratchaburi.
- Fourth rooms (Lopburi): Ratchaburi during the 11th-13th centuries AD. The early period Khmer style known as the Lopburi Style, as evidenced by the Prang of Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat and Rediating Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara found at Chom Phrasat, Ban Pong District, Ratchaburi Province.
- Fifth rooms (Ayutthaya): Ratchaburi in the Ayutthaya period during 1350-1767 AD. A Sukhothai inscription(King Ram Khamhaeng Inscription) indicates that Ratchaburi was an area of conflict between Thailand and Burma until Rattanakosin period. This is affirmed by their mutual influence on the architecture, sculpture, paintings, glazed ceramics and pottery found in the area.
- Sixth rooms (Rattanakosin): Ratchaburi in Rattanakosin period during 1781-1832 AD. This room display The importance of Ratchaburi related to the Chakri dynasty. Items giving evidence of the politics, laws, local development and the royal sword of Ratchaburi prefecture that made in the reign of King Vajiravudh.
- Seventh rooms (Nowaday): Ratchaburi today. Items indicating the politics, laws and social development in Ratchaburi since 1932. In this room display photos of tourist destinations are culture, natural and crafts of famous native. There are also the examples of crafts.
- Eighth rooms (Folk culture): Exhibits stories about history and the way of life of the various minority settlers living in Ratchaburi province. Especially Lao Song, Karens and Tai-Yuan which is to bring the cultural characteristics of each community exhibits. Including photos and artifacts used in the ghost Huan of Lao song, model homes of Karens and examples sarong patterns Teenjok Weaving a traditional part of Tai-Yuan.
- Ninth rooms (Dragon jars): Display water jar with dragon and manufacturing procedure. One of the most famous industrial products of the area. The Dragon jar was became to a famous product and revenue for the province.
- Tenth rooms (Sports): Sports activities. Awards, medals, flags and photos indicating the activities of local athletes.
Ratchaburi National Museum is worth visiting, the museum has quite a comprehensive collection of artefacts and displays detailing the history and culture of Ratchaburi.
When Ratchaburi National Museum is open?
Ratchaburi National Museum is open daily from 08.30 am. to 16.30 pm. Except Monday, Tuesday and Holidays.
For entrance fees are 20 baht for Thai (free for children) and 100 baht for foreigners. Students in school uniforms, monks of any religion and group of government authorities can visit the museum with free entrance.