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[Photos] Over 100 Years of Hanoi's Historic Opera House

There are some among the population who remember, with rose-tinted glasses, the days before coronavirus began ravaging countries across the globe. Many also remember Hanoi’s Opera House, particularly as it still exists.

Since construction was completed in 1911, the capital’s opera house has been considered one of the city’s most prominent architectural landmarks. Modeled on the Palais Garnier, the oldest opera house in Paris, Hanoi’s own version has provided a stage to thousands of performers over the last century, from touring French musicians during colonial rule to modern-day acrobatics who regularly take part in Lune Production’s Làng Tôi (My Village) shows.

Despite extremely tumultuous periods of the capital’s history, Hanoi Opera House appears today much as it did in 1911. Street fighting took place right outside, while political events were organized within, yet the structure itself emerged from periods of conflict relatively unscathed.

In this collection of images collated by Flickr user Manhhai, we see the structure at different periods over the last 100 years – cyclists ambling past on quiet streets, political rallies passing by, a cinema sign hung above the stone steps. There are even early architectural designs of the building pre-construction. 

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