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Famous house in Hanoi

Oct 9th 2015 at 12:06 AM

Famous house in Hanoi
Hanoi Opera House
The beautiful Hanoi Opera House was built in 1911 by the ruling French. It’s a phenomenal piece of neo-classical French architecture featuring Gothic themes on the doors and domes with pillars, shuttered windows, balconies and a glass room. Travel Indochina Vietnam
The Colonial style of Hanoi Opera House
The beautiful Hanoi Opera House was built in 1911 by the then ruling French. It’s a phenomenal piece of neo-classical French architecture featuring Gothic themes on the doors and domes with pillars, shuttered windows, balconies and a glass room. Musicians, actors and dancers play to a 600-strong audience delivering powerful operatic and classical performances, making it a very popular theatrical attraction. North Vietnam travel tours
Hanoi Travel Guide-Opera House
The Hanoi Opera House is the biggest theatre in Vietnam and speaks volumes as historical and cultural evidence of Vietnam under French rule. The interior is even more magnificent than the exterior with many arguing it is aesthetically even more appealing than the Paris Opera House. Visitors today will be entertained at this architectural landmark which features a range of events including local Vietnamese opera, traditional folk music, ballets and many international concerts.

Following the end of the August Revolution in 1945, The Hanoi Opera House reverted from entertaining the French elite to becoming the centre of major historical events including the first session of the National Assembly of the Republic. The Hanoi building went into a state of decline prior to being renovated and brought up to date in 1997 which included the installation of state-of-the-art equipment and the renewal of some of the interior decorations.



These improvements returned the opera house to its former glory which now sees international artists including violinist Hilary Hahn and pianist Wolfgang Glemser take to the stage in addition to home-grown talent. Vietnamese entertainers perform songs, classical music, dance, drama and contemporary performances from superstars such as singer My Linh. The Hanoi Opera House offers a superb setting in which to see any live show. The stage is three metres high and there are three storeys in total so a wonderful experience is guaranteed regardless of your seating arrangements.

Good to know

The Opera House Hanoi is located near Hoan Kiem Lake on August Revolution Square. There are superb views of the opera house at the Hilton Opera House hotel which is very close by.

You will need to purchase tickets to see the inside of the opera house although there are usually a host of concerts to choose from including drama, ballet and symphonies in addition to opera. The Hanoi Opera House is also the first choice for international meetings and conferences so check online when you are visiting to ensure a performance is scheduled.

Hanoi Hilton- Hoa Lo Prison
Maison Centrale in Hanoi, also known as Hoa Lo Prison and the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American POW during the Vietnam War
The history of Hanoi Hilton – Hoa Lo Prison Museum
Maison Centrale in Hanoi, also known as Hoa Lo Prison and the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American POW during the Vietnam War. The fortress was once a vast colonial-style prison, most of which was torn down in the 1990s.

The prison is still a popular tourist attraction for those on the war history trail. Official records claim inmates numbered in their hundreds although it was not unknown for up to 2,000 prisoners to be crammed into a space reserved for 600 inmates. Around 200-300 inmates were captured American pilots brought to Maison Centrale for interrogation and torture, it was the American prisoners who sarcastically gave the jail its nickname ‘Hanoi Hilton’.

Hoa Lo Prison today portrays a different side of the horror stories told by former inmates despite the prominently displayed shackles hanging on the walls. Much of the emphasis is on the Vietnamese revolutionaries some of whom were executed at the prison. The American POWs have well documented their own experiences, little of which is available at Maison Centrale today.

Hanoi Travel Guide-Hoa Lo Prison1

Situated in the centre of Hanoi close to the French Quarter, Maison Centrale was French built for housing Vietnamese political campaigners for independence and was completed in 1913. These campaigners were captured and usually shackled to the floor where they could easily be beaten by guards. Vietnamese prisoners were also executed here by use of a guillotine which today is displayed near the prisons infamous death row.

The prison was later used for American POWs, usually pilots caught when their planes went down. Today there is little evidence of the time spent here by the former American inmates although a great deal has been written by the survivors including their experiences in the much feared ‘blue room’. The blue room was used for the interrogation and torture of new prisoners and visitors can still see the room today although there is nothing on display here of the horror stories told by American POW’s which included former American presidential nominee John McCain.

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