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Discover Hoa Lo Prison Memorial – A destination to keep historical traces in Hanoi

Hoa Lo Prison Memorial

Hoa Lo Prison Memorial is located at No. 1 Hoa Lo Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. The relic still stands with time to this day, is a clear testimony to a period of hard history and hardship, symbolizing the indomitable and tenacious spirit of the Vietnamese people.

Hoa Lo Prison Memorial, also known in French as the Maison Centrale, was built in 1896 by the French with the purpose of detaining political prisoners and patriots against the colonial government. During the French colonial period, Hoa Lo prison was designed and built with a structure consisting of 4m high and 0.5m thick stone walls reinforced with electric wires. The entire prison area is divided into 4 areas: A, B, C, D, in which:

  • Zone A & B: for offenders under investigation, unimportant offenders or offenders in prison laws.
  • Zone C: for French or foreign prisoners.
  • Zone D: for prisoners who are awaiting the death penalty.

The total area of the former prison area is more than 12,000m2. However, today only 2,434m2 is retained, preserved to become a relic area, serving the purpose of visiting tourists who want to see and witness this place.

Guillotines, medieval weapons contributed to the fame of the prison

Guillotines, medieval weapons contributed to the fame of the prison

The scene inside the prison, where prisoners are shackled with steel shackles at the feet

The scene inside the prison, where prisoners are shackled with steel shackles at the feet

The scene of torture rebuilt in the prison

The scene of torture rebuilt in the prison