Kowloon Walled City park.

   Day 7 - Kowloon Walled City park.    

7 Days in Hong Kong

Kowloon Walled City park.

Full of History and Ancient Calligraphy, "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 later, the site was used by imperial officials in the 15th century and was first fortified in 1668 when a signal station was established there. About 1810, a small fort was built at the head of the beach which then adjoined the site.

The importance of the area to China's maritime defences grew sharply following the British occupation of Hong Kong Island in 1841. Between 25th November 1846 and 31st May 1847, a walled garrison-city was constructed. Massive stone walls with six watchtowers and four gates enclosed the area, which measured about 6.5 acres.

The design of the park was inspired by the Jiangnan garden style of the Early Qing Dynasty. Construction began in May 1994, with a work-force of skilled artisans from the Mainland being employed to ensure accurate reproduction of the classical concept.

Work was completed in August 1995, and the park was officially opened on December 22, 1995, by the Governor, the Rt. Hon. Christopher Patten.
For me, inanely snapping off at 'pretties' with the camera is fruitless and unless you understand the History of your environment, what to the unknowing appears dulling, is actually intriguing and enriching knowledgably.

 

Common Crepe Myrtle Path (Left)

The long-blooming crepe myrtle is a shedding shrub. Its flowers come in many shades of pink, as well as lavender and red, and grow in big, showy clusters. The shrub looks particularly attractive when swaying in a gentle breeze.

Away from the incessant oppression of the masses, and forgetting about the backstabbing history of the place, one can see why such quietude and garden design is such a haven for intellects, the studious and spiritual and an escape, sometimes, from the violent thuggery of the greedy. 

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. About 1810, a small fort was built at the head of the beach.

 

Historically Satisfying.
Chinese Couplets and Qin Dynasty Architecture.

The design of the Kowloon Walled City Park is based on the Jiangnan garden style of the early Qing Dynasty.

It was chosen by architects of the Architectural Services Department following a visit to China to select the most appropriate design for the historic site. Subsequently, the project was awarded a Diploma at the IGO Stuttgart EXPO 93 (International Garden Exposition).

The design is divided into eight landscape features which complement one another and subtly blend into the overall layout. The centerpiece is of course the Yamen, a fully restored three-hall structure offering a glimpse of the physical appearance of the one-time walled garrison-city..

 

Guibi Rock & Red Leaf Path.

Guibi Rock is the centrepiece of a rock garden in the pebble-stone courtyard fronting Kuixing Pavilion. The spiralling rock, from Tai Lake, symbolizes the return of Hong Kong to China. Its name comes from Wan Bi Gui Zhao (returning the jade intact to the State of Zhao). In the Zhou Dynasty, China was divided into seven states; Zhao was one of them.

The Red Leaf Path was designed to capture the vivid colours of autumn. Plants with red leaves or with leaves that turn red in winter, including queen crepe myrtle, mountain tallow tree and copper leaf.

These brighten the pathways and I walked alone, though, through some of the architecture to see the wonderful (probably typical to the locals) architecturally designed window frames and wall  openings. 
Very satisfying to see so much Qin Dynasty influence in the structures.

 

Know the History of what you're looking at!

I have to admit, having done some research into the places I visited and things I photographed and saw made the whole explorative far more interesting and satisfying than just inanely walking about 'snapping-off' at "pretties".

The simplest thing seen thereafter becomes something far more solid and meaningful and the fruit of the journey ripens and flourishes with every step into the "unknown" but never-the-less expect.

Around each corner and through the Walls' Windows surprises appeared at every step and the design of this place pulled me forwards with silent awe. It was wonderful to be here and see these peoples environment. 

The best of Day 7.

 
So, for me, this was a beautiful experience to touch and be amongst and walk grounds that held a story and see the styles of Chinese Architecture that for three years I studied in the making of The Chinese Garden historical animation back in 2012.

To see the wonderful Calligraphy; the seal script, the grass script... ancient writing styles and couplets hanging from doorways was something I have always wanted to stand amongst and see with my own eyes.

Nowhere else in the world hols as much fascination for me as China. Its contrast I feel gets contaminated by the west with every change that mimics western pollutionism and contamination diluting its present history into something jealously resented.

Thankfully there are enough Traditionalists who are, only now, starting to look after the interests of the differences China enjoys that makes it "a cut above the rest" and unique in so many rich and fascinating ways.

If I had a choice to live in any country.........

.....

Thursday, 24 December, 2015, 05:40


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