Hang Duong Cemetery - Con Dao Island - Vung Tau - Vietnam

Hang Duong Cemetery is a relic of hatred, valuable to denounce the colonial and imperialist regimes and at the same time educate the traditions for generations. Therefore, Hang Duong Cemetery at Con Dao is different from other martyrs cemeteries in our country, not ostentatiously different from historical reality, but in harmony with the natural landscape, making a deep memorial impression.


In all design documents, the previous legal documents stated the name of the project as “HANG DUONG TUTORIAL GENERAL”. Let's listen to a story told by Mr. Vu Trinh Tuong who was directly assigned to construct Hang Duong Cemetery.

“The main gate of the Cemetery has a square frame with the height equal to the width, the two vertical columns and the crossbar have a triangular cross-section covered with black Granite. The name of the Cemetery is mounted on the crossbar of the main gate made of bronze. When we elaborately attached the word "Hang Duong Martyrs Cemetery" on the cemetery gate. About a week later, when some photos of tourists were published in the press.

The public opinion in the country was unanimously reacted strongly. According to public opinion: "Hang Duong Cemetery" has a history of hundreds of years, prisoners in Con Dao have all components: thieves, prostitutes, political prisoners... are buried in this Cemetery. If the name "Hang Duong Martyrs Cemetery" is attached, will the criminals and robbers whose graves are located here all become martyrs? It is impossible to separate which graves are Martyrs and which are not martyrs.

After the seminars, the authorities agreed to remove the two words "Martyrs" in the cemetery's name, leaving only "HANG DUONG CENTER". It was a sensible decision.”


The ceremony ground is located in the center of the cemetery with a monument bearing an image of Giving Austria. The 9m high monument, weighing 25 tons, was started on July 16, 1980. At the foot of the statue is written the words "Farewell, comrades". The monument is recreated from the story "Death takes off each other's clothes". The person giving the shirt was Mr. Vu Van Hieu, the former first secretary of the Hon Gai special mining zone (October 1930). The recipient of the shirt was the late General Secretary Le Duan.

The story illuminates the proletarian revolutionary spirit, the spirit of revolutionary dedication to the last breath. It is a song about the sacrifice of the communists, all for the country, all for the revolution.

In the afternoon, I went to Hang Duong Cemetery, now a prominent architectural sculpture complex. Entering the Memorial Area, first encounter the work of sculptor Dao Chau Hai, the work called "Indomitable" has a length of 22 m, a height of 3.2 m (not including the pedestal).

As a series of horizontal blocks like a screen on the face of the complex, the image is like a mountain range, a prison wall, stacked block by block, the sculptural details are deeply indented to represent the characters who were destroyed. shackles are helping each other, relying on each other like going through walls, like the legendary connection of patriotism, indomitable struggle against colonialism. The holes are an interesting point of the work, it both achieves the reason when it is located in the front of the complex and gives the feeling of the inside and outside of the cell doors. The rhythm of solid, hollow, concave, flat ... has created the whole sculpture block a thick story, both giving silent emotions and seeing the scroll that brings hidden strength, the will of the unyielding spirit, the will of national liberation thought.

The front, back to the left is the work of sculptor Phan Gia Huong, titled "Hope" 5m high, carved a block of female characters standing proudly in the sea breeze, arms outstretched freely, that image is a symbol of an optimistic spirit, loving life full of hope, like the main incarnation of the heroine Vo Thi Sau - a brilliant legend of revolutionary spirit and humanity.


Hang Duong Cemetery is 190,000m2 wide, including 3 zones: zone A, zone B and zone C. It is estimated that about 20,000 prisoners died in Con Dao. However, not all are located in Hang Duong. Prison cemetery was established in the area of ​​Chuong Bo, then moved to Hang Keo. Since 1944, the white terrorist regime after the Cochinchina uprising has killed thousands of prisoners.

Hang Duong Cemetery was assigned by the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs to the People's Committee of Ba Ria - Vung Tau province as the investor and assigned to the Institute of Engineering and Technology to start construction and renovation on December 19th, 1992. then Truong Son Construction Corporation continues to construct on an area of ​​about 20 hectares, and is divided into 4 zones:

Area A: Includes 688 graves (7 mass graves) of which 91 are named and 597 are anonymous. Most of the graves are built from 1945 or previous. There are graves of revolutionary Le Hong Phong and patriot Nguyen An Ninh..
Zone B: Includes 695 graves (there are 17 mass graves) of which 276 are named and 419 are anonymous. Most of the graves are built from 1945 to 1960. There are grave of heroine Vo Thi Sau and grave of hero Cao Van Ngoc.
Zone C: Includes 373 graves (with 1 mass grave) of which 332 are named and 41 are anonymous. Most of the graves are built from 1960 to 1975. Here has the grave of hero Le Van Viet.
Area D: Includes 157 graves, of which 14 are named and 144 are anonymous. In particular, zone D is a collection of graves from Hon Cau and Hang Keo.

Hang Duong Cemetery is preserved as a special historical relic. Hang Duong Cemetery with thousands of named and unnamed graves is eloquent evidence of the crimes of the empire and colonialists against our nation. It is the resting place of thousands of excellent children of our nation, who have faced the enemy between prison and chains, in the struggle for independence, freedom and socialism.

During the French colonial period, every time a prisoner died, the warden gave him a burial by using two sacks, one from the top down, the other from the bottom of his feet and then tied with a few ropes. Then take to the cemetery, dig a small hole to bury, on top of which is a wooden stake with an aluminum piece (2 x 3 cm), on which aluminum piece only briefly writes the number of prisoners and the date of death of the prisoner. . A few days later, strong winds or Buffalo - Cow stomped on fallen wooden poles ... lost all traces.

Not to mention there are cases where prisoners working hard labor have accidents or die exhausted, the guards let them be buried on the spot. Many of the prisoners' sea crossings were damaged by waves, boats and rafts were sunk in the middle of the sea. It can be said that there are prison corpses scattered throughout Con Dao.

Experiencing 113 years of Con Dao prison, about 20,000 people have been laid to rest, but in fact, the traces left to this day are 1,921 graves, of which only 713 graves have been found. Because in the process of being imprisoned by the enemy, many political prisoners kept the atmosphere and secrecy for the establishment, so they declared their fake names and hometowns...

Whether the tomb here has a name or no name, is embellished or buried, every handful of land here is a vestige of many revolutionary struggle events for each martyr, every person, every person. Con Dao prison struggle period.

The relic of Hang Duong Con Dao Cemetery has been approved, the Ministry of Culture and Information has issued Decision No. 54-VHQĐ on special recognition of the Nationally Important Monument on April 29, 1979. On May 10, 2012, the Prime Minister issued Decision 548/QDTTg recognizing it as a Special National Monument.


In the Cemetery, there are only five special tombs, specially designed and embellished:

Revolutionary Nguyen An Ninh

Tomb of Nguyen An Ninh (1900-1943) was a revolutionary in the early 20th century – a patriotic soldier was imprisoned by the French and died here. The grave is located in Zone A (class of graves before 1945). Before the upgrade, the tomb was built quite beautifully with bricks and mortar. When embellishing to keep the shape of the old tombstone with the words "The martyr pays the grave), embellish the fence, the grave yard, and the surrounding landscape.

Communist International Commissioner Le Hong Phong

Communism International Commissar Le Hong Phong's tomb is located farthest away in zone A. Before upgrading, the tomb was built with bricks with cement stele. When embellishing, building completely new from the body of the tomb covered with granite, tombstone, yard, fence.

Hero Cao Van Ngoc

Tomb of Hero Cao Van Ngoc (1897-1962; nicknamed "the old man of the tiger cage") located in zone B (most of the graves from 1945-1960) was embellished and additionally built in 1999 after being posthumously awarded Hero of the Day. December 16, 1998.

Hero Le Van Viet

Tomb of Hero Le Van Viet (1937-1966). Le Van Viet was a Saigon commando who was arrested when he attacked the US Embassy in 1965, exiled to Con Dao and died here. Le Van Viet was conferred the title of Hero of the Armed Forces on December 20, 1994). Before the renovation, it was built simply and had a tombstone named Nguyen Van Hai. When Le Van Viet was posthumously awarded the title of AH, the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City proposed to be embellished, but the Project Management Board did not agree, but only built according to the approved design model.

Heroine Vo Thi Sau

Ms. Vo Thi Sau (1933-1952) participated in secret activities in the local area since the age of 12. In 1950, Vo Thi Sau was captured by the enemy.. The French Military Court sentenced her to death in April 1951. , although she was only 16 years old at this time. She was secretly shot at 7:00 a.m. on the 13th of January, 1952, in Con Dao.The guards buried her body in the sand in Hang Duong.


Usually, the graves in the cemetery when embellished are arranged in a horizontal - vertical line. But in Hang Duong, the planning design is not the same as anywhere else: The old tombs are scattered everywhere and rebuilt in the right position and in the old direction. The newly discovered remains follow the same principle. In fact, the number of remains discovered during the construction process is more than the number of graves available. Even after a windy day, the sand flew away revealing dozens of skeletons. The remains found cannot be divided into exact sets, so they are built together into double graves, triple graves, five graves... (called mass graves).

The shape of the tombs does not need to be built squarely, but only crudely built of stone, almost a pile of stones poured on the grave. On the top of each tomb there is a concrete "stela pillar", the top of which has a red granite block, engraved with the name (if the name can be identified) and a star. Initially the stars were cast in bronze, but only briefly were rusted by the salty wind and had to be removed. Through many changes of materials, the yellow porcelain stars were finally used as they are today.

With such planning design intent, the graves look very messy, around the grave is still sand like when it has not been upgraded.

In the Cemetery in all there are 25 mass graves. Most of the graves are recognizable.

Particularly, the graves moved from Hon Cau island and Hang Keo area are planned in lots and rows behind the Central Monument.


It will be a pity if you do not try a trip to Con Dao. There is nothing better than witnessing the green-covered landscape href="https://vietnamintours.com/southern-vietnam-tours">Southern Vietnam.

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Mr. Ming - Note. The content of the article is copyrighted by IN TOURIST COMPANY LIMITED. All copies must indicate the source, the author's name, along with a link to the corresponding content at INTOUR TRAVEL (Images are collected from Facebook, Instagram. Thank you for sharing the necessary images).


In order to ensure the sanctity, security and order, and protect the environment during the ceremony of visiting and offering incense at the Hang Duong cemetery, the Con Dao Relic Management Board has issued a notice No. Announce the time to visit, offer incense at the relic of Hang Duong cemetery, specifically as follows:

At Hang Duong cemetery:

Daytime: From 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m

Evening: From 18:00 to 24:00

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