Hoa Lo Prison is located at 1 Hoa Lo Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi. The relic still exists for the time to this day, is a clear testament to a long historical period, a symbol of the indomitable and resilient spirit of Vietnamese patriots.
Hoa Lo prison, formerly known in French as Maison Centrale, is an old prison located on Hoa Lo street. This prison was built by the French in 1896 in an area that was still the outskirts of the city; with the purpose of serving as a central prison for both central and northern Vietnam; Mainly detained were political prisons and anti-colonial patriots.
During the French colonial period, Hoa Lo Prison was built with a structure consisting of 4m high and 0.5m thick stone walls, reinforced with electric steel wire. The whole prison has 4 zones: A, B, C, D, in which:
- Areas A, B: for offenders under investigation, non-critical offenders, or offenders who violate prison discipline
- 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 was more than 12,000 square meters. However, today only 2,434m2 is retained and preserved to become a relic area; serving the purpose of sightseeing for those who want to come and witness firsthand the scene of the colonial prison.
Dubbed “hell on earth”, is the most feared prison in Southeast Asia. During its operation, Hoa Lo prison has become a detention place for generations of Vietnamese soldiers and revolutionary activists. The prison architecture is designed with extremely brutal and cruel forms of torture. The most typical the guillotine machine, the machine has put the prison in the top 10 most notorious prisons in the world.
After the liberation of the capital in 1954, Hoa Lo prison was used to keep American prisoners of war until 1973. With its historical role, Hoa Lo prison has become the interesting sights in Hanoi; attracts a lot of domestic and foreign tourists. It is open to all those who have a need or desire to visit. The ticket price is extremely comfortable, 30,000 VND / person, 50% discount for students, people with disabilities, the elderly …
The scene inside the prison, where prisoners are shackled with steel shackles at the feet
The scene of torture rebuilt in the prison