Kowloon Walled City was a densely populated, largely ungoverned settlement in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Originally a Chinese military fort, the Walled City became an enclave after the New Territories were leased to Britain in 1898. Its population increased dramatically following the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. From the 1950s to the 1970s, it was controlled by Triads and had high rates of prostitution, gambling, and drug use.
In January 1987, when the Hong Kong government announced plans to demolish the Walled City, there were 33,000 residents. After an arduous eviction process, demolition began in March 1993 and was completed in April 1994. Kowloon Walled City Park opened in December 1995 and occupies the area of the former Walled City. Some historical artefacts from the Walled City, including its Yamen, an imperial administrative building and remnants of its South Gate, have been preserved there.
The design of the gardens was inspired by the Jiangnan garden style of the early Qing Dynasty. Construction began in May 1994, with a work-force of skilled artisans from the Mainland being employed to ensure accurate reproduction of the classical concept.
Work was completed in August 1995, and the park was officially opened on December 22, 1995, by the Governor, the Rt. Hon. Christopher Patten.
The park covers 31,000 square metres and is divided into eight scenic zones with individual characteristics but blending into the overall design.
It was built at a cost of $76 million and is managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department.
It is now a very attractive park with pavilions and ponds and we were glad that we took the time to go there. Hopefully my photographs will give you a feel of just what a pleasant oasis within the city this park is. If you wish to view the complete album please visit the link Travel Tales - Kowloon Walled City Park.
Finally an explanation about The Chinese Zodiac Garden and a collage of some of the sculptures within this part of the garden. The rest of them can be viewed in My Flickr Album Travel Tales - Kowloon Walled City Park.
With thanks to the following sites for the background information included in this post. The links will take you directly to the pages on the Kowloon Walled City Park if you are interested in learning more about the history.
Kowloon Walled City - Wikipedia Kowloon Walled City Park - Discover Hong Kong Hong Kong Leisure and Cultural Services Dept China Highlights China Tour Guide