Museum Negeri Propinsi, Denpasar or ‘Denpasar Provincial State Museum’ is dedicated to the exhibition of Balinese culture. It is favoured by history buffs, as well as those wishing to get a more in-depth look into the history of this beautiful island. The museum has over 10,000 items on display, and has been in operation since the early 1930s. This is the oldest museum still in operation in Bali.
There are four main buildings housing historical artefacts and other cultural items:
The main building houses prehistoric items found on the island, such as bronze weapons and ancient coffins. This building also houses every day artefacts from all ages of the island, from prehistoric times to present day.
The northern pavilion delves into the world of myth and legend. Traditional Balinese dancing costumes and masks are on display, painting a picture of the spiritual history of the Balinese people.
The central pavilion concentrates on the religious aspects of Bali’s history. There are many religious items such as calendars, objects used in traditional ceremonies and art pieces. A nice feature of this building is its balcony, recreated in the style of a traditional royal façade.
The southern pavilion is a large building dedicated to the display of traditional materials and woven pieces. Methods of gold and silver use in pieces of material are also explained.
The museum is on a large piece of land, and features an extensive outdoor area as well as courtyard. It’s closed on weekends, and accessible by buses or taxis that service central Denpasar. Its best to avoid the unsolicited offers of guided tours from locals at the gates – these are by no means official, and typically don’t offer any more knowledge than the exhibits themselves.