Hoa Lo Prison

Published: 28/10/2019

Hoa Lo prison is considered as “a hell of the earth in the Hanoi City”, its highlight of French architecture with the French name “Maison Centrale”. The construction located in No. 1, Hoa Lo Street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi city.

The French colony originally built the prison with the purpose of political prison, killing the patriotism of Vietnamese revolutionary soldiers. This is one of the most solid buildings in Indochina, “unbreakable prison” with a 4m high wall, 0.5m thick. The wall is topped with a large piece of broken glass and barbed wire system. Four corners of the prison are four watching towers that are capable of covering both inside and outside the Hoa Lo Prison area.

The area of ​​Hoa Lo Prison was initially enough to hold only 500 prisoners but later the French Colonialists expanded to 12,908m2. The detention area is separated by a large, solid door, nearly 4 meters high, with a strong iron lock system, where prisoners are arranged in two long rows on concrete platforms with shackles. The light of this area only from small windows creates a dark and gloomy scene.

Hoa Lo Prison is known as the hell of earth, this is the most terrible prison in Southeast Asia at that time, equipped with horrific torture weapons and many forms of suppressing and torturing. The most typical is the guillotine machine - the most nightmarish torture weapon, making Hoa Lo Prison among the most fearful prisons in the world.

The guillotine machine

Despite the brutal torture and suppression, they could not overpower the spirit and the indomitable will of the Revolutionary soldiers. The propaganda sessions of the Party's revolutionary movements and ideologies still underground in spite of the colonial whip. It is here the fire of revenge, the light of hope that still creeps through the dark corners of the prison.