Hoa Lo prison was constructed by French colonists in 1896 on the land of Phu Khanh village of Vinh Xuong canton in Tho Xuong District, Hanoi.
Formerly, Phu Khanh village came into being as a result of the merger of Nguyen Khanh and Nam Phu hamlets. In the 19th century, Phu Khanh village was the only destination on the Thang Long citadel where earthen home appliances, such as kettles, teapots and portable stoves, were made. Accordingly, Phu Khanh village was also known as Hoa Lo village, the village of portable stoves. Those hand-made products of Phu Khanh village were preferred not only by dwellers in the Thang Long Citadel but also by people from far and wide. Thanks to the traiditional making of “Hoa Lo” – portable earthen stoves, Phu Khanh villagers enjoyed a good life.
When French colonist came and occupied Hanoi, they moved all villagers, old pagodas, and communal houses in Phu Khanh village to other places. ChanTien pagoda and Phu Khanh commual house were relocated at the end of Ba Trieu street, where they are today. Bich Thu and Bich Hoa pagoda were destroyed completely. French colonist then built a prison, a court house, and the head quarters for their secret police on the land area of Phu Khanh village, forming up a complete autocratic rulling system to aid their domination and oppression against the patriotic movements of the Vietnamese people.
Covering a total land area of 12,908 sq.m, Hoa Lo Prison was one of the largest and fortified prions in Indochina at that time.
In 1896, Hanoians in particular and Vietnamese people in general lost forever an ancient village which practice a time-honoured craft.
Some images make this prison becoming 1 of 5 scariest in Asia