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Tigers' arena



Tigers Arena or Ho Quyen was the arena where duels between elephants and tigers were arranged for the entertainment of the Emperor, the royal family and mandarins..

Ho Quyen was built in 1830 on the south bank of the Perfume river and 4 km from the citadel. It is a unique construction, open air and solidly built as a citadel. The coliseum consists of two concentric circles built with bricks and mortar. The first staircase with 20 steps was exclusively reserved for the

Emperor and royal family leading up to the retangular tribune with the surface of 96m sq. the height of 1.5m in comparison with the path surface. Looking down from the tribune, people can see the cavity with the coliseum. The second staircase, with 15 steps was used by the soldiers and the common people leading up to the earthen part. Between the two staircases is a big entrance 1.9 m wide and 3.9 m high for the elephants to enter the coliseum. .

The way running around above this curved door is narrowed into a small bridge across the curved door. Under it is a big two-wing wooden door with stone hinges which still remain undamaged.
Opposite to the tribune for the Emperor on the other side of the arena are five cages for tigers and leopards. Above the middle cage is a stone sign inscribed the two Chinese words "HO QUYEN".
The duel between elephants and tigers is a long standing entertainment for Emperors and Lords.

In the old time, the duels HO QUYEN were held once a year. The last one was organized here in 1904 in Thanh Thai's reign.
The Tiger's arena is a unique architectural work rarely found in South East Asia.

Though it is not as huge as the arenas of the Emperor Romance but it still bears an outstanding figure and creates a martial and imposing atmosphere.









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