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Victoria, Hong Kong

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Victoria, Hong Kong

A 1915 map showing Victoria at the bottom
Traditional Chinese 維多利亞[1]
Simplified Chinese 维多利亚
City of Victoria
Traditional Chinese 維多利亞市[2]
Simplified Chinese 维多利亚市

Victoria (sometimes Victoria City; statutorily, City of Victoria[3]) is one of the first urban settlements in Hong Kong after it became a British colony in 1842. It was initially named Queenstown but was soon known as Victoria. It was deemed to be the capital of Hong Kong from 1842 until the 1997 handover,[4][5] and almost all government departments still have their head offices located within its limit.

Victoria City expanded over much of what is now Hong Kong Scout,[8] and the Victoria Junior Chamber.[9] The name Victoria District Court had been used into the 1980s,[10][11][12][13] when it was moved to the Wanchai Tower and combined with other district courts in the territory.


Boundary stone at Old Peak Road

The city is centred in present-day Central, and named after Queen Victoria in 1843. It occupies the areas that are known in modern times as Central, Admiralty, Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, East Point, Shek Tong Tsui, the Mid-levels, the Peak, Happy Valley, Tin Hau, and Kennedy Town, on Hong Kong Island. In 1903, the Hong Kong Government erected seven boundary stones for the city, inscribed "City Boundary 1903" at Hatton Road (克頓道), Pok Fu Lam Road, Bowen Road, Old Peak Road (舊山頂道), Wong Nai Chung Road, Victoria Road/Sai Ning Street (西寧街) and Magazine Gap Road. All remain, except for the one in Magazine Gap Road, which disappeared around mid-June 2007.[14][15][16]


Victoria, April 1841
Victoria Town, 1850

In 1857, the British government expanded the scope of Victoria City and divided it into four "wans" (環, jyutping: waan4, pinyin: huàn, literally rings). The four wans are Sai Wan ("West Ring" in Chinese, present-day Sai Wan, including Kennedy Town, Shek Tong Tsui, and Sai Ying Pun), Sheung Wan ("Upper Ring" in Chinese, present-day Sheung Wan), Choong Wan or Chung Wan ("Central Ring" in Chinese, present-day Central) and Ha Wan ("Lower Ring" in Chinese, present-day Wan Chai). Except "Ha Wan"; "Sai Wan", "Sheung Wan" and "Choong Wan" retain the same name in Chinese today.

Victoria City, 1860–65

The four wans are further divided into nine "yeuks" (約, jyutping: joek3, pinyin: yuē, similar to "district" or "neighbourhood"). The coverage also included parts of East Point and Happy Valley (West of Wong Nai Chung Road on the east side of the Racecourse). In 1903, boundary stones were established to mark the City's boundary and six of them are still preserved today. The stones spread from Causeway Bay to Kennedy Town.[17]

Praya Central, 1870s

In the 1890s the capital city extended four miles west to east along the coastal strip. Buildings were made of granite and brick. Buses and the new tramway would become the main form of transportation in the area.[18]


Also called yeuks.

See also


  1. ^ Interpretation and General Clauses OrdinanceSch. 9(1),
  2. ^ Interpretation and General Clauses OrdinanceThe translation adopted by the official Chinese translation of sch. 1 of the
  3. ^ Interpretation and General Clauses OrdinanceSch. 1,
  4. ^ The Hong Kong Institute of Architects Architecture Walk Central (2006), p.17
  5. ^
  6. ^ Wordie, Jason (2002). Streets: Exploring Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong University Press. p. 12. ISBN 962-209-563-1.
  7. ^ Tsang, Steve (2004). A Modern History of Hong Kong. I.B. Tauris. p. 17. ISBN 1-84511-419-1.
  8. ^ Victoria City District
  9. ^ Victoria Junior Chamber
  10. ^ Volume 22 Inland Revenue Board of Review decisions
  11. ^ CACC497/1986 The Queen v. Chan Ngai Hung
  12. ^ CACC186A/1987 The Queen v Currency Brokers (H.K.) Ltd and Robert Lee Flickinger
  13. ^ CACC133A/1986 The Queen v. Wai Hin Keung
  14. ^ Antiquities and Monuments Office website: "Boundary Stone, City of Victoria"
  15. ^ List of boundary stones, with pictures (Chinese)
  16. ^ article about the boundary stones, 19 August 2007Apple Daily (Chinese)
  17. ^ Wordie, Jason. [2002] (2002) Streets: Exploring Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 962-209-563-1
  18. ^  

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