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Photographer's Note

In 1993, two thirds of the Hoa Lo Prison structure in Hanoi was demolished, to make way for a new high rise building.

The current prison museum, with its lovely gold and green colouring, is deceptively friendly and spacious.

Only in the old death row cells (pictured here) do you get a feeling of its past.


------------ History ------------

"Hoa Lo" means "stove", and originated from the pre-colonial street name, where wood stoves and coal-fire stoves were sold.

The Hoa Lo Prison, was built by the French, in dates ranging from 18861889 to 1898 to 1901, when Vietnam was still part of French Indochina.

The prison was used by the French colonists in Vietnam for political prisoners and later by North Vietnam for prisoners of war during the Vietnam War.

American prisoners of war later sarcastically referred to it as the "Hanoi Hilton".

The US presidential nominee, John McCain, spent parts of his five and a half years as a POW there.

His flight suit and parachute are on display in the museum part of the site.

The "Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel" was opened in 1999.

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Additional Photos by Andrew Orme (orme) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1694 W: 114 N: 1605] (7219)
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