Lunar Year of the Tiger - a well glance to the Tiger Arena, Hue

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- Located in Thuy Bieu Ward, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue Province, Tiger Arena (or Ho Quyen) is an arena built in the early 19th century under the Nguyen dynasty by Minh Mang emperor. This was the place where the Nguyen dynasty used to organise several battles among elephants and tigers.

Tiger Arena (or Ho Quyen) is an arena built under the Nguyen dynasty, was used to organise several battles among elephants and tigers for the King, imperial officials and the people to watch; at the same time, for training the elephants to get used to the fighting atmosphere in battles. Photo: Tran Thien

The Tiger Arena has a unique architecture with an open-air arena shaped like a doughnut, the internal ring is 5.90m high, external ring 4.75m high (including a stand), both wall rings plus the strip of earth in the middle form thickness of 4m at the top and 5m at the base.

The Tiger Arena owns a plain structure but absolutely firmly. The building materials are brick, bluestone and lime mortar, therefore, until the present the arena is mainly intact.

During early of the Nguyen dynasty, there was no separate arena to ensure safety, the fights among elephants and tigers were held as usual and considered as great festivals of the court and the people. Later on, in 1830, in case of safety, Minh Mang emperor instructed to build an arena on Long Tho Hill, called The Tiger Arena (or Ho Quyen).

Around the arena wall are 5 tiger cages and a large archway for elephants to enter.

The auditorium for the emperor facing south, built higher than the stand for officials as well as people.

 Opposite the auditorium are 5 tiger cages, including 3 small cages and 2 large cages.

Close-up view of a door leading tigers into the arena. Tigers were caged up in this area before the fight.

Front door of a tiger cage

Elephants entered the arena in a separate gate that is larger and unlocked. The door is 1.90m wide, nearly 4m high, made of huge wooden boards with the base made of bluestone.

The Tiger Arena in Hue is a special and unique relic of Vietnam; it has been recognised as a national relic since 1998. The last fight was in 1904 under the reign of Thanh Thai emperor.

 

Source: VOV.VN