Kowloon Walled City (traditional Chinese: 九龍城寨; simplified Chinese: 九龙城寨; pinyin: Jiǔlóng Chéng Zhài) was a Chinese military fort in Kowloon, Hong Kong tourist guide, which became an enclave after the New Territories were ceded to Britain in 1898. Few areas of Hong Kong have a richer historical background than the Kowloon Walled City Park, originally the site of a walled fort.
The Kowloon Walled City Park occupies one of the most historic sites in the territory. Once strategically located at the north-eastern corner of the Kowloon peninsula and adjacent to what was to become Kowloon Bay, the site was used by imperial officials in the 15th century and was first fortified in 1668 when a signal station was established there. While not particularly distinctive to look at, being a rectangular structure with a typical tiled roof, a Yamen represented the power of the Emperor as passed down to the Mandarin in charge, and so was both highly respected and feared by those who passed it.
After Hong Kong Island was ceded to Great Britain in 1842, the fort’s role was to police the Chinese side of Hong Kong Harbour. But the British seized on a minor skirmish between the two sides to demand the garrison’s withdrawal on pain of a naval bombardment. Having already suffered enough from British guns, the Chinese had the good sense to abandon the fort although, by Treaty, the site remained theirs.The interior was dominated by the offices of the Commodore of the Dapeng Brigade, and the Kowloon Assistant Military Inspectorate, commonly known as ‘Yamen’.
Squatters soon moved in and for about 100 years Kowloon Walled City remained a quiet rural hamlet huddled behind its protective walls. However, during the Japanese occupation of 1942-45 the walls were torn down and the stone used to enlarge the nearby airfield at Kai Tak.In January 1987, the Hong Kong government announced plans to demolish the Kowloon Walled City.