The Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi will open up its old wartime air raid shelter, built in its gardens, to the public on May 21, announced a hotel spokesperson on May 14.

The shelter was discovered nearly 10 feet below ground in the hotel’s gardens last year when the foundations for its new bar, called ‘The Bamboo Bar’, were being laid. The 40 square-metre bomb shelter has been restored to its original state.

Over the years, the warren of underground chambers and corridors had become completely flooded, however after the water had been pumped out, they discovered a number of items including an old wine bottle, an intact light bulb, air vents, metal blast doors and graffiti scrawled by former Australian diplomat Bob Devereaux.

Filipino journalist Gemma Araneta, who has visited and written about the shelter, Bob Devereaux who visited the shelter in 1975 and historian Andreas Augustin, the author of a book on the hotel’s history will all attend the opening ceremony.

The bomb shelter plays an important role in the project to develop the hotel’s ‘Path of History’ tour. It includes numerous exhibits that commemorate the Metropole’s 110 year history, which will be put on display along 18 metres of the hotel’s corridors. They include 13 plates with images of the hotel’s early years and a
list of over 300 guests from Charlie Chaplin to Jane Fonda and Joan Baez to Angelina Jolie, as well as a section on travel.-VNA