Kowloon City Stories / Architecture

Former Yamen Building of Kowloon Walled City

Inside the Yamen Building
The Yamen Building of Kowloon Walled City

A yamen in Hong Kong? Indeed. Hong Kong may have started out as a fishing village, but Kowloon was also once an important centre for salt production — so important that an imperial Chinese government office, or yamen, had to be built to govern the area. In 1996, the Yamen Building, located within Kowloon Walled City Park, was declared a monument.
The Qing government built the Kowloon Walled City in 1847 as a garrison town and military outpost. Serving as the government office of the assistant magistrate of Kowloon, the Yamen Building comprised three halls and two courtyards built from grey bricks. After the Qing officials departed in 1899, the Yamen Building was used as a home for the aged, a clinic, an orphanage and a home for widows. In 1987, the government announced the demolishment of Kowloon Walled City, and the preservation of Yamen Building.

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