Maison Centrale, Vietnam - Prisons, Museums


Maison Centrale in Hanoi, also well-known as Hoa Lo Prison and the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ housed Vietnamese revolutionaries and American POW during the Vietnam War. The fortification was once a huge colonial-style prison, most of which was torn down in the 1990s. Visiting today you will find the small southern section quiescent beside a hotel and office complex. The prison is still a well-liked tourist attraction for those on the war history trail. Official records allege inmates numbered in their hundreds although it was not unknown for up to 2,000 prisoners to be packed into a space reserved for 600 inmates. Around 200-300 inmates were captured American pilots brought to Maison Centrale for interrogation and torment, it was the American prisoners who ironically gave the jail its nickname ‘Hanoi Hilton’.

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