Located at the end of Bat Trang pottery village in Gia Lam District, Hanoi, the Van Van House, with a roof covered with creepers, has more than 400 pottery items from the 15th to the 19th centuries.
The Van Van Museum was built in 2002 by Mr. Tran Ngoc Lam, a member of the UNESCO Center for Research and Conservation of Vietnam Antiques.
“The meaning of Van Van is the convergence of beautiful clouds. The house conserves products of traditional craft villages of Vietnam, mainly the old products of Bat Trang pottery village,” says Lam.
Van Van House exhibits products of Bat Trang ancient pottery village and the house itself is also a special architectural work.
Covering more than 400m2, Van Van museum includes three old houses of nearly 200 years and a pottery workshop. One of the houses is available in the village and the two others were brought in from Nam Dinh and Thai Binh.
Each house has five compartments, and 24 ironwood columns, and all of them are original. One of them was built with Bat Trang bricks and two were made of timber. The houses are decorated with stylized dragon motifs, which were common in the ancient houses of the northern delta.
Lam did not build walls or fences around these houses, in order to create the most natural space for them.
The pottery workshop displays modern pottery products of Bat Trang village.
Lam spent over 10 years traveling throughout the country to collect antiques to display in the museum. “Bat Trang pottery village was the place where these artifacts were made and now they have returned to the village,” he says.
The most valuable antiques are the two 90cm high, ivory white jars with dragon motifs, which were made in the 19th century. The jars were the precious heirlooms of a family in Nam Dinh Province.
Other precious items in Van Van Museum are 50cm high jars decorated with unicorn motifs, also from the 19th century.
In addition to antiques, Van Van also displays and sells craft items made of wood and copper.
The private museum opens to visitors daily from 8am to 5.30pm. On weekends, the house welcomes hundreds of tourists. Many foreign tourists like the house very much for its green space, its ancient look and its history.
Some pictures of the Van Van Museum: