Tiger Fighting Arena (Ho Quyen) is located on the southern bank of the Perfume River, 4km from the Hue Citadel. It is a unique construction, open air and solidly built as a citadel. Built in 1830, the coliseum consists of two concentric circles built with bricks and mortar.
Ho Quyen was the arena where duels between elephants and tigers were arranged for the entertainment of the Emperor, the royal family and mandarins. In the old time, the duels Ho Quyen were held once a year. The last one was organized here in 1904 in the reign of Thanh Thai.
The first staircase with 20 steps was exclusively reserved for the Emperor and royal family leading up to the rectangular tribune with the surface of 96m², the height of 1.5m. 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 1.9m wide and 3.9m 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”.
Ho Quyen 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.