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Museum Bali

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With its combination of a small but impressive ethnological collection and striking architecture, Museum Bali is an excellent introduction to Balinese arts and culture.

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The fall of Klungklung kingdom in 1908 resulted in all of Bali falling under Dutch colonial rule, leading to increased opportunities for international trade; sadly, this was a time when artefacts and cultural treasures were expunged from Bali at a dizzying rate. In 1910, an idea to establish a collection to preserve Balinese cultural heritage was envisaged by, ironically, one of the colonial administrators. In collaboration with Balinese experts, the museum was conceived combining palace and temple architectural elements.

The museum's lovely setting. Photo taken in or around Museum Bali , Denpasar, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

The museum's lovely setting. Photo: Sally Arnold

The museum exhibits collections in four main buildings, three representing the architectural styles of different regencies from the north (Gedung Buleleng), south (Gedung Tabanan) and east of Bali (Gedung Karangasam) in honour of the Rajas who funded the project. The hybrid structures include courtyards, shrines and flower gardens and nowadays these form a popular backdrop for pre-wedding photography. Hindered by earthquakes and financial setbacks, the museum was finally officially opened in 1932.

The museum is reasonably well organised, with the collection ranging from prehistoric to contemporary artefacts, mostly displayed behind glass with labels in English. Explanations of individual exhibits are somewhat lacking; it’s a little static and dry, and could do with a bit of revitalisation. Little information is offered at the ticket desk and there are no printed maps or brochures, although a brochure and booklet on the museum are available from the nearby Tourist ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Museum Bali
Jalan Mayor Wisnu, Denpasar
Sa-Th 08:00-16:00, Fr 8:30-12:30. Closed public holidays.
T: (0361) 222 680, (0361) 235 059
Admission: Foreign adults/children: 20,000/10,000 rupiah. Indonesians adults/children: 10,000/5,000 rupiah.

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