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History of Kowloon Walled City, Hong Kong

One of the most historic parts of the city the area once known as the Walled City is now a park in traditional historic style.

1668 - First fortified by the Chinese Imperial Government to protect the local pearl trading community this was the start of making Kowloon city an important part of the national defense border of China.

1841 - British invade Hong Kong Island, making the nearby garrison at the Walled City part of the most important defended border.

1847 - Upgrades are completed to the Walled City including heavy duty stone watchtowers and gates enclosing a 6 acre area. Six watchtowers and four stone gates are built.

1898 - Garrison is upgraded to 500 troops of the Imperial Army, intending to hold the fort despite the lease of the New Territories to Britain under the Unequal Treaty.

1899 - British troops expel the Imperial Army, but fail to take administrative control, leading to a lawless power vacuum as the fort is still rightly Chinese territory, but cannot be administered as such due to British interference.

1925 - Kai Tak Airport is established on the coast just beside the walled city.

1941 - Invading Japanese army demolish the classical architecture of the stone wall with no regard to history or property and use the material to expand the nearby Kai Tak Airport runway so that more air traffic with Japanese may be facilitated.

1945 - With the end of WW II the Kowloon Walled City returns to its ambiguous state with no law enforcement.  Start of heavy development with new unregulated buildings and structures built with no regard for safety.

During this period the city booms, but mostly with illegal activities including drug dens and most famously unlicensed dentists.

1987 - 1994 - Finally the old illegal structures are demolished with the agreement of all sides.

1992 - Last residents leave

1995 - The new park was opened on the site of the old Walled City.

1998 - Kai Tak Airport is closed and height restrictions on nearby buildings are lifted allowing modern development so start in the area around the district.

2013 - Kai Tak Cruise Terminal opens