Vietnam Tourist Information and Travel Guide
Hoa Lo Prison was constructed by the French Colonial government back in 1896 to hold political and other prisoners. Although, much of the prison has now been demolished, a small portion of it still remains and operates as a museum.
Built to hold around 450 inmates, the number of detainees at Hoa Lo Prison soared to nearly 2,000, most of whom were political prisoners.
During the Vietnam War (which in Vietnam is called the "American War"), Hoa Lo Prison was used to incarcerate US pilots that were shot down. These prisoners of war called this notorious facility the "Hanoi Hilton".
Among those captured prisoners, was US Senator John McCain.
Although most of the exhibits at the museum focus on the small cells and instruments of torture that were used by the colonial powers against the Vietnamese, there is a small exhibit regarding the detained US prisoners of war.
The museum includes a photograph of John McCain undergoing a medical examination.