Vientiane

The Vientiane Centre, Laos

Vientiane Centre

Head: Michel Lorrillard
Ecole française d'Extrême-Orient, FEML
1 rue Sisangvone - Unit 6
Bane Naxay
BP 3248
Vientiane, Laos
Tel.: + 856 21 41 46 20
Fax: + 856 21 41 39 52
michel.lorrillard@efeo.net

In 1951 the Laotian government entrusted the EFEO with the mission to preserve and restore its historical monuments and to manage the nation's museums. At the same time, the EFEO was authorized to carry out archaeological excavations. The School's official presence in Laos led to the arrival of the art historian and philologist Henri Deydier, the ethnologist Charles Archaimbault - renowned for his comparative work on Laotian principalities, and Pierre-Bernard Lafont, who resided at the Centre until 1966. Earlier in the 20th century, Henri Parmentier conducted the first research on the religious architecture of Laos and the Khmer temple Vat Phu, while Madeleine Colani carried out a pioneering investigation of a proto-historic site, the Plain of Jars. A new cooperation agreement, reached in 1993, with the Laotian Ministry of Information and Culture enabled the EFEO to open a Franco-Laotian Centre for Buddhist and Historical Studies in Vientiane.

Current research at the EFEO Centre in Vientiane is primarily conducted in historical studies based on philology and epigraphy; however, the Centre also undertakes work in disciplines such as ethnology, art history and archaeology. The sum of this activity contributes to a wider program of multidisciplinary research on Buddhist societies spanning Asia, from India to China.

Laos, a landlocked country relatively little affected by its rapidly changing surroundings, offers researchers exceptional conditions for on-site investigation.

Current research program:

  • General epigraphic inventory and publication of Laotian inscriptions
  • Study of Laotian religious literature
  • Material and artistic culture of Laotian Buddhism (archaeology, iconography)
  • Comparative ethnology of Austro-Asiatic minority societies

The Vientiane Center includes a library for the humanities and social sciences -- the only research library in Laos. Since 2007 its publication office has edited a series titled Texts and documents on Laos. The Centre also provides facilities for French and European scholars, as well as doctoral students and EFEO fellowship holders.

EFEO News
Covid-19 Information
Paris, France,


The Maison de l'Asie and the library are closed to the public from March 16 until further notice.

All cultural and scientific events are cancelled.
Lecture by Mrs Tôn Nu Quynh Trân
25 March 2020
Mrs. Tôn Nu Quynh Trân's lecture: "The development of the urban space of Saigon from its origins to 1954 as seen through plans and maps of the city", which took place on September 19, 2019, at the Ho Chi Minh City Center, has been posted on the EFEO's YouTube channel.

This lecture is part of a series of bilingual lecture-debates (consecutive French-Vietnamese or Vietnamese-French; English-Vietnamese or Vietnamese-English translation) organized at the EFEO Center in Ho Chi Minh City. The audience of about forty guests consists of researchers, teachers, students, and intellectuals from Vietnam and abroad.
EFEO Field Scholarships - 2nd Semester 2020
14 March 2020
The deadline for submitting an application to an EFEO Field Scholarships for Master and PhD students enabling a field study in Asia at one of the EFEO centers is set to the 14th of March 2020.
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Doctoral contract – Campaign 2020
09 March 2020
As part of its support for international cooperation activities, the Ministry of Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche et de l’Innovation (MESRI) awards five doctoral contracts each year in partnership between a Doctoral School and one of the five Écoles françaises à l’étranger (EFE).

Details and the procedure for submitting applications to the EFEO can be found here.

Application documents may be sent until April 30, 2020, 3:00 p.m. (Paris time), according to the procedures specific to each EFE. The results will be sent before the end of June.
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Lecture: ''Kalash, les derniers animistes de l'Hindu Kush''
Paris, France, 06 March 2020
As part of the photographic exhibition set up at the EFEO, "Kalash, les derniers animistes de l'Hindu Kush", Jean-Yves Loude gives a lecture: "Solstice païen. Fêtes de l'hiver chez les Kalash du Nord-Pakistan". He will be accompanied by Xavier Nory, author of the photographs of the exhibition.

Thursday, March 12, at 1:30 pm at the Maison de l'Asie.