Government House of Hong Kong
The Government House of Hong Kong is located on Upper Albert Road in Central and faces Victoria Peak. Its floor space amounts to 24,000 square meters (about 6 acres). It used to be the residence of the Governors of Hong Kong and was a place to receive royalty and VIP guests. Important ceremonies were held here as well including the annual Honor Awarding Ceremony and the Olympic Games Flag Handover Ceremony.
Main Building of Government House of Hong Kong
Construction began on the main building of Government House of Hong Kong in October 1851, the eighth year after Hong Kong became a British colony. The estimated cost was about 14,940 pounds. The project was completed four years later in October 1855. Sir John Bowing, the first Governor of Hong Kong, was the first resident. Before the city was returned to China, 25 out of 28 Governors lived in this grand building. After China resumed sovereignty over the city, Mr. Donald Tsang became the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to move his office here in 2005.
Over the years the style of the Government House of Hong Kong changed many times. The main building is a combination of rich colonial features mixed with Britain and Asian styles because whenever the owner changed, the appearance of the building was altered. Almost every Governor renovated the house according to his preferences and needs.
Annexe of Government House of Hong Kong
In 1889, during the governorship of Sir William Des Voeux, an annex was built on the eastern side of Government House of Hong Kong for social activities. Two years later a passageway was added to join the main building and the annex. The upper floor is the Ball Room, in which banquets were held to receive the leaders of different nations. For a banquet, 150 people could gather here; for a party, 300 people can enjoy themselves in this room. There is also a dining room on the lower level. When Japan controlled the city, the Central Tower was designed and built by Japanese engineer Seichih Fujimura from 1942 to 1944. Decorations on the pillars were changed to a Japanese style. In addition, traditional Japanese tatami with raised floors were built on the upper floor facing the sea. Sir Alexander Grantham, a British administer, added fake ceilings, fireplaces, terraces, air-conditioning and Irish Diamond lighting fixtures. The two sculptured stone lions he placed at the entrance still guard the big mansion.
Open Day of Government House of Hong Kong
Government House of Hong Kong began to plant azaleas in 1919. In spring, the mansion is decorated by colorful azaleas, well manicured lawns and trees forming a picturesque landscape. Since it first opened in 1968, the house has drawn many visitors every year, especially in spring when the azaleas blossom.
Initially, Government House of Hong Kong opened to the public once a year. Later, it opened six times a year. Every year in March or April, it was opened to visitors for free to view the blossoming azaleas. People could see the old buildings as well. At present, it is open twice a year. One time is still in spring when the azaleas blossom. The media broadcasts the exact time and detailed information one week in advance. Income from the tickets is donated to charity.
Parking is not allowed at Government House.
How to get to Government House of Hong Kong
1. Take Bus 40m, 103p, 103, 12, or 23b to Government House, Upper Albert Road.
2. Take Bus 12m, 23 or 40 to HK Zoological & Botanical Garden, Garden Road and you will see it.
3. Take Metro Tsuen Wan Line, Island Line or South Island Line to Admiralty, and you will see the Government House of Hong Kong after going out of the station.
Recommended Nearby Attractions:
Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Hong Kong Park