Old Chinese fort; the only place in Hong Kong outside British rule
The outpost of the Chinese empire
The Almshouse is the only authentic structure in the whole Walled City Park. For many centuries—long before the Brits came—this was a Chinese military fort, a tiny dot in a distant corner of Imperial China's defence system. During the colonial period, it became the only place in the city the British could not control. Now it's an intimate museum telling the surprising story of the Kowloon Walled City.
Chinese territory in a British colony
The first Opium War was a game changer. The Brits took Hong Kong Island. The Chinese still controlled Kowloon but soon also lost that piece of the city. The only part they managed to hold onto was this fort. It became a 'Chinese Consulate', and the clever Chinese wasted no time building a wall around it and a Confucian school within.
Out of control
The British often tried to force the Chinese officials to move out. They managed at some point, but not for long… Gradually, Chinese immigrants moved in, taking their livestock with them. They were later joined by thousands fleeing China's civil war. It became the only place in Hong Kong the Brits could not control: The now (in)famous Kowloon Walled City.