Hoa Lo Prison Museum – a place to record the barbaric historical evidences of the French colonialists. Visiting Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi, visitors will witness the heroism and indomitable spirit of the Vietnamese people in the resistance war against the French colonialists.
At the end of the 19th century, in order to deal with the struggles of the Vietnamese people, the French colonialists built this prison on a large area with strong and complex defenses. This is one of the largest French colonial prisons in Indochina. Hoa Lo Prison was built by the French in 1896 and was named “Maison Central” It has another names such as “the Hanoi Hilton” or “ Maison central”
At the time of completion, Hoa Lo Prison had the largest and most solid scale in Indochina with a total area of 12,908m2. Divided into 4 zones:
– Zones A, B: for unimportant prisoners or those who violate the discipline of the prison.
– Zone C: where French prisoners or foreigners are kept.
– Zone D: where important prisoners are kept, awaiting execution.
The exterior architecture has a very seamless and solid design to prevent escape. The four corners of the prison are four watchtowers to observe inside and outside the prison; surrounded by a solid stone wall with broken bottles and high voltage wires; At the foot of the wall is a patrol road. The special thing is that construction materials were carefully selected by the French colonial government and transported from France to meet the highest quality requirements.
Through time and the ups and downs of history. Today, the area retained for conservation and tourism is only about 2,400 square meters.
Hoa Lo Prison is located at 1 Hoa Lo Street, Tran Hung Dao Ward, Hoan Kiem district, Ha Noi. Hoan Kiem district is in the city center, so the way is not too difficult. It’s easy to get there as directed by Google Maps. It takes only 10’ by taxi from Hoan Kiem lake to Hoa Lo Prison
Or you can catch a technology car, a taxi or by local bus. By bus number:
Before starting the tour, you can rent walkie-talkies with headphones to listen to detailed explanations in each room, each area… The journey to visit Hoa Lo Prison begins behind the signboard, leading the guests into the first exhibition area. Then like that, the stream of people went to each area, everything fought appeared more realistic when the light darkened and almost only glimmered inside the dungeon. During decades of operation, the prison has tortured both physically and mentally the many comrades and revolutionaries. The most significant thing is the 4m high guillotine, making this the most notorious prison in the world at that time.
The place that brings the most authentic emotions is the dungeon – Cachot. Dubbed the “underground of the underworld”, prisoners were imprisoned, tortured and lived in this place where no light could reach. Dirty life, lack of sunlight makes many people scabies and even crazy.
Although the prison life was miserable with brutal tortures, lack of food, but the patriotism and longing for freedom never ceased. Prison escapes, revolutionary propaganda taking, and enlightenment for soldiers were always place.Experiencing the journey to visit the places of prisons and dungeons, visitors can also admire the hundred-year-old eagle tree – which is also associated with the lives of many revolutionary soldiers, which is also what helps them overcome their arduous lives. Or besides, there are stories of female soldiers who embroider towels and pillowcases day and night to send out.
In addition to authentic historical artifacts and stories, today there are many creative forms of sightseeing such as: online tours through online galleries, podcasts on Spotify platform. In particular, is the Sacred Night tour – an emotional journey back in time with re-enacted scenes combining vivid sound and light.
from 8h00 to 17h00 every day except special holidays
1 Hoa Lo Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi
You can catch a technology car, a taxi or by local bus. Bus number: 02, 32, 34, 38, 45