Hoa Lo Prison, formerly known in French as Maison Centrale (meaning central prison) and in Vietnamese as Hanoi Prison, is a historical attraction located on Hoa Lo Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi.

This prison was built in 1896 by the French in this area which used to belong to the outskirts of the city. It is the central prison to confine mainly political prisoners and patriots against the colonial government, from both Central and Northern Vietnam.

During the French colonial period, Hoa Lo prison was built with a structure consisting of 4-meter high and 0.5-meter thick stone walls that were reinforced with electric wires. The total area of the former prison area was more than 12,000 square meters.

However, today only 2,434 square meters is retained and preserved to become a relic area for sightseeing. Notoriously called “a hell on earth" and the most feared prison in Southeast Asia during its operation, Hoa Lo Prison was where many generations of Vietnamese soldiers and revolutionary activists were imprisoned.

With its historical role, Hoa Lo Prison now becomes an intriguing destination to visit in Hanoi, attracting many domestic and foreign tourists./.