An exhibition on old photos of the former Hoa Lo Prison – one of Indochina's largest – and its political inmates is taking place in Hanoi until the end of this month to celebrate the capital city's 60th liberation anniversary.
The exhibition, titled “Nhung The He Tu Chinh Tri Nha Tu Hoa Lo Voi Thu Do Ha Noi” (Generations of Hoa Lo Prison's Political Inmates in Hanoi), is showcasing 154 photos, archival materials, and artefacts, and depicting the ex-prison's architectural traits and the notoriously punishing regime imposed on the political inmates, who were revolutionary leaders and soldiers.
The exhibits highlight the inmates' incredible physical and mental stamina, and their massive contributions to, and sacrifice for, the cause of liberating the Vietnamese capital from French rule.
A number of them survived the gruelling prison life and continued to fight steadfastly for liberation.
The prison was named after Hoa Lo Street in Hoan Kiem District, which was lined with stores selling wood and coal-fired stoves. The name of the prison is literally translated as “fiery furnace,” "Hell's hole," or "stove."
The prison was built by the French between 1886 and 1901 during their period of colonial rule. The French called the prison “Maison Centrale” (Central House), a traditional euphemism to denote prisons in France.
The structure was intended to imprison Vietnamese people, particularly revolutionaries fighting for the capital's liberation.
hoa lo prison, photo exhibition, hoa lo, liberation anniversary, revolutionary leaders, hoan kiem, maison centrale, vietnamese people
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